Loveless: the word we often use when describing a failed marriage, is appropriately the title of a new Russian film.
The Okanagan Screen Arts Society screens Loveless March 19 at the Vernon Towne Cinema at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
Zhenya and Boris are a couple going through a vicious divorce marked by resentment, frustration and recriminations. Already embarking on new lives, each with a new partner, they are impatient to start again, to turn the page — even if it means threatening to abandon their 12-year-old son Alyosha. Then, after witnessing one of their fights, the boy disappears.
Filmed entirely in Moscow, Loveless producer Alexander Rodnyansky has said the film was envisioned as a reflection on contemporary Russian life, society and anguish, but meant to be relatable to other countries. The starting point was said to have been a desire to look at a family in much the way Ingmar Bergman did with his 1973 Scenes from a Marriage.
In 2017, the 90th Academy Awards received a record 92 entries from around the world for best foreign language film. Loveless, the Russian submission, was one of only five films nominated. Although it did not win, it did well on the film festival circuit, winning Best Film at the London Film Festival and the Jury Prize at Cannes, as well as a couple of dozen other nominations and wins around the world.
Loveless uses its riveting portrait of a family in crisis to offer thought-provoking commentary on modern life in Russia and the world beyond its borders.
Tickets are available for $6 members, $8 non-members. A cash only wine bar is onsite.