Artel (2006)

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Artel (2006)


The life of a small fishing cooperative in the White Sea has a specific relationship with cinematic time. The working routine that one day represents is stretched and transformed into the process of humans’ exhausting struggle with ice. How is it possible to subjugate that desert snow-white space? Blow after blow, they extract motion and sound from that stillness. And then, instead of silent air currents sliding along the frozen crust, there will be a murmur, ringing, bubbling of revived water.


Sergey Loznitsa

Sergey Loznitsa was born on the 5th of September, 1964 in the city of Baranovitchi, in Belarus. At that time Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. Later Sergey’s family moved to Kiev, Ukraine, where Sergey finished high school. In 1981 Sergey applied and was admitted to Kiev Polytechnic Institute, with the major in applied mathematic and control systems. In 1987 he graduated with a degree in engineering and mathematics. From 1987 through 1991 Sergey was employed as a scientist at the Institute of Cybernetics. He was involved in the development of expert systems, artificial intelligence, and decision-making processes. In addition to his main job, Sergey worked as a translator from Japanese.

During that time Sergey developed a strong interest in cinematography, and in 1991 he applied to Russian State Institute of Cinematography, in Moscow. After passing a very vigorous selection process, Sergey was admitted to the Institute.

He studied in the studio of Nana Dzhordzhadze.

In 1997 Sergey graduated with honors with the major in movie production and direction. From 2000 he produces works in the Studio of Documentary Films in St.Petersburg. In 2000 he was awarded “Nipkov program” grant in Berlin. In 2001 Sergey immigrated with his wife and two daughters to Germany. Sergey Loznitsa made three full size documentaries and six short stories. Presently Sergey is directing several documentaries and working on new scripts.

Official Selection IDFA 2006

Best Documentary Film International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, 2007

DOCUdAYS – oficial selection, Kiev, Ukrain, 2008

“Master shots, long takes, wide lens, black-and-white – absurd poetry of daily life. It seems to be a film formula that Russian directors have a patent on. You could make all sorts of critical remarks about it, but the genre yields many a gorgeous film. In Artel, we follow a group of small black silhouettes on a wide white landscape with a couple of log cabins. Beneath the snow and ice they are walking on, fish are swimming. In any case, the men spend a lot of time dealing with some fishing nets. If they did not use a chainsaw to make a hole in the ice, the film could just as well have been made 80 years ago. The documentary seems to say that life by the sea has always looked like this and it always will. Or is the final shot, when the ice breaks and the water flows, a reference to the old Soviet masters and an optimistic symbol of imminent change in a frozen social situation?”


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