Film Studies: Contemporary Russian Documentary as a Tool of a Memorial Culture

Module Instructor

Andrei Vasilenko is a movie critic and a Special program curator at the Pacific Meridian Vladivostok International Film Festival. Being involved with the Film Festival since 2008, Andrei has helped selected the movies that would be screen in Vladivostok every September when the city gets overwhelmed with the international and Russian actors, actresses and moviemakers.

Interviews with Andrei Vasilenko:
Module outline 

Contemporaneity is an era of democratization of means of production in the field of arts. New technologies provide us with an opportunity to create the portrait of reality in unprecedented modes of temporality and subjectivity. Producing the documents that become available to everybody as a practice, leads to a new stage of the development of documentary cinematography as one of the most popular and progressive forms of art. In Russia, for new generation of directors and artists documentary moviemaking became a real alternative for reflection of reality and contemplation of the issues that exists beyond an official agenda. Contemporary Russian documentary as a tool of memorial culture course is an interdisciplinary examination of documentary in the structure of creative practice that may be considered not only as an art practice but also as a new form of social activism and the tool the historical narrative construction.

Module contents

This course contains three parts: an Introduction to the theory of film documentary, a Brief review of the approaches and the "schools" of documentary in Russia from 1990s to 2010s, and an Introduction to the memorial culture and new historical approaches.

The course structure:

1. An introductory lecture: "Documenting the reality - creating the history"

2. An introductory lecture: "Chronicle and historical narrative. The principle distinctions"

3. An introductory lecture: "Memorial culture and contemporaneity"

4. The theory of theory of film documentary (4 lectures)

5. Brief review of approaches and "schools" of documentary in Russia from 1990s to 2010s (4 lectures)

5. History. Contemporary approaches and theories (4 lectures)

6. New media as the tool of creation of the portrait of social and political reality (2 seminars)

The structure of course implies screening and discussion of the four significant films produced in the period from 1990s to 2010s.