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Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2014

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by Jenny Pickett (subscribe)
I enjoy making the most of life's experiences, exploring what Adelaide has to offer and sharing my experiences and discoveries with others via WeekendNotes!
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First launched in 2003, this is the 11th Russian Film Festival hosted by Australia. This year's festival is aptly named Russian Resurrection. Aside from its religious definition - resurrection's other definition is described as follows: the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again, to be used again, etc.

The aim of this year's festival is to cast aside Russia's past and current political situations and with an open mind and no preconceptions, purely enjoy what is truly world-class cinema.

I was fortunate in being invited to attend Russian Resurrection's opening night and after party in Adelaide, featuring the internationally acclaimed epic Vasilisa.

Set in the Russia of 1812 - where noble classes ruled over serfs, Vasilisa captures the critical moments of Napoleon's invasion by the French into Russia.

Based on the real life of Vasilisa Kozhina - arguably Russia's greatest heroine, the audience were taken through the trials and tribulations in Vasilisa's life as a serf, working with her sister as maids in their master's house until war breaks out between Russia and France.

Even though I don't know much about Russian culture and history, I can say that the cinematography; period settings and costumes were brilliant. In Russian and French language, with English subtitles, Vasilisa provided a good balance of drama and romance, whilst demonstrating the values of a resilient culture.

Directed by Anton Sivers, Vasilisa is gritty and involves a convincing story-line where the Russian partisans (led by Vasilisa) come within a hair's breath of decommissioning Napoleon (Dmitry Solomikin) from his progressive invasion of Russia and its people.

I was in awe of the resilience and devoutness of Vasilisa (Svetlana Khodchenkova) and her faith and commitment in salvaging her relationship with noble man Ivan (Dmitry Solomykin) despite many attempts by irrepressible French Captain Blier (Jérôme Cusin) to woo Vasilisa from Ivan's arms into his.

As guests of the Russian Film Festival's Adelaide opening night film and after party, we were greeted on arrival at the after party with shots of Russian standard vodka and a wide array of delectable finger food and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages (I can recommend the Moscow Mule - a blend of vodka, lime and Bundaberg ginger beer).

It was an invitation I'd readily accept again - to experience more about a country which produces quality cinema for an international audience.
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*Jenny Pickett was invited as a guest
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When: See website for session times
Where: Participating cinemas
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