Vancouver International Film Festival 2021
- Unclenching the Fists
- Kira Kovalenko
- 97 DCP
- VIFF 2021
A jury headed by Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold awarded Kira Kovalenko’s film the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes earlier this year, and the two directors share a lot in common. The setting is a dusty, battle-scarred corner of North Ossetia in the Russian Federation, but the focus is squarely on teenager Ada (Milana Aguzarova), who tends to her aging, domineering father and her brother in a cramped apartment, and also minds a small corner shop while fending off the overly zealous attentions of a would-be Lothario. When we first see her, Ada is anxiously waiting for someone at a bus stop, but it’s a while before we discover who she’s expecting, or the reasons for her concern. Kovalenko gradually reveals the complicated tendrils binding this young woman to her family, and we can only intuit other taboo elements. But for all its realism and claustrophobia, the movie climaxes in a paroxysmal night of raw desperation, vulnerability, and hope.
Cast: Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov, Arsen Khetagurov, Milana Pagieva
Contemporary World Cinema: The world’s best boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.
The Cinematheque is pleased to join with the Vancouver International Film Festival in co-presenting these in-cinema screenings during VIFF 2021. Please note that Cinematheque Passes and Ticket Packs are not valid for any Vancouver International Film Festival screenings.