Boris Khlebnikov‘s latest project titled A Long and Happy Life is one of the movies that will compete for the Golden Bear statue (aka the award for the best film) at this year’s Berlin Film Festival which runs from 7 – 17 February. Today, we’re here to start our little chat about the powerful modern film which examines the conflict that emerges between the dream of a long & happy life, and the dream of freedom, independence, and the right to choose…
Boris Khlebnikov directed the movie from a script he co-wrote with Alexander Rodionov, which follows a city boy turned farmer named Sasha who decides to help his fellow villagers’ plight to protect their land from the state. But getting caught up in someone else’s fight could end up costing him everything…
Believe it or not, but 1952 western movie High Noon with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the leading roles was the inspiration for A Long and Happy Life!
Or, as Khlebnikov explained:
It all began when I watched, for the umpteenth time, the 1952 American Western High Noon. At some point, just for fun, I came up with a Russian version of the story. At first, I didn’t take it seriously. But for some reason, I gradually came to believe that I could really do this.
Anyway, the movie is actually the conclusion of director’s trilogy about the inevitability of choice, and the first two films – Free Floating and Help Gone Mad were also written by Alexander Rodionov.
A young farmer named Sasha stands at the beginning of a new, happy life. The state is buying up land from small landowners. For Sasha, this is a chance to escape the potato farm he has grown tired of, and return to the city, taking along his beloved Anna (a clerk in the local land administration department). But once the deal is closed and the farm is doomed, the local villagers suddenly rise up in protest. They convince Sasha, the ‘boss’, to come to their aid and save the farm – the village’s only means of survival. Sasha is touched by the villagers’ eagerness to cast him in the role of a local leader and object of their love and hope. He tries his best to help the villagers. But when he puts the brakes on the transfer of the farm to the state, local officials view it as a symptom of schizophrenia, and his girlfriend takes it as his refusal to share a life in the city with her. Sasha finds himself caught up in a fight which is not his, entangled in a web of passion, pride, and irreversible actions.
A Long and Happy Life stars Alexander Yatsenko, Anna Kotova, Vladimir Korobeinikov, Sergey Nasedkin and Eugene Sitiy.
Click on the images to take a better look, let us know what you think about the movie and stay tuned for more updates!