My Friend Ivan Lapshin
Chris Fujiwara

Set in the 1930s, and based on writings by the director’s father, this story of a dedicated, emotionally isolated criminal investigator on the trail of a band of criminals is at once a lament for the victims of the Great Terror and a vivid portrait of a way of life, and a way of speaking and feeling about life, that had never before been documented in a narrative film. Done in a style that is reminiscent of Fellini, but more severe and more brutal, with an unwavering precision of detail, My Friend Ivan Lapshin is a film of memory, in which the narrative unfolds in sprawling setpieces filmed from an unstable point of view. There is no redemption and no escape for any of the characters, not even the narrator who quietly tries to see and understand the past.