ON THE THIRD PLANET FROM THE SUN: THE FILMS OF PAVEL MEDVEDEV

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | March 29, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010, 6:00 pm

Still from On the Third Planet from the Sun, (Pavel Medvedev, 2006). Courtesy the artist.
Still from “On the Third Planet from the Sun” (Pavel Medvedev, 2006). Courtesy the artist.

The documentaries of Pavel Medvedev are haunting portraits of some of post-Soviet Russia’s most isolated people and places. This rare screening presents four different facets of Medvedev’s remarkable oeuvre. Vacation in November (2002) follows Russian miners in the tundra. On a forced furlough from their regular jobs, they embark on an annual massive reindeer slaughter to supplement their income. On the Third Planet from the Sun (2006) studies life in the country’s resource-rich Arkhangelsk region, where inhabitants forage for scrap metal left behind from H-bomb testing. Wedding of Silence (2003) depicts a deaf community in St. Petersburg, juxtaposing an expressive wedding celebration with the din of a foundry where many work. Following a different kind of party, Medvedev’s The Unseen (2007) captures the behind-the-scenes dinners and rituals of the 2006 G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, along with their corresponding impact on Russian citizens. Russian with English subtitles. Pavel Medvedev, 2003-08, Russia, 35mm and Beta SP video, ca. 100 min.

PAVEL MEDVEDEV (b. 1963, Orenburg, Russia) graduated from the Leningrad State Culture Institute in 1990. In 1992, he graduated from the Higher School for TV directors (workshop of Sarukhanov). From 1993-2000, he worked as a television director in St. Petersburg, and since 2000, he has been working as a film director at the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio. His films have received many awards at festivals, including Best Documentary at Karlovy International Film Festival (2004, Wedding of Silence) and the Prize of the Jury of FIPRESCI (Jury of International Film Critics) at the International Film Festival Oberhausen (2008, The Unseen).

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