13-24 nov 2024
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Mud

Mud

Грязь
Ilya Povolotsky
Russia
2023
50 min
World Premiere
Envision Competition
Synopsis

To the aural accompaniment of sloshing mud and gurgling water, Russians soak themselves in the curative mud baths of a historic spa. It is October 2022, and the full-scale invasion in Ukraine has been underway for seven months. This place, however, seems completely unaffected. Before visitors can enjoy the benefits of being packed in mud, they have to deal with a complex jumble of prohibitions, stamps, voucher systems, and other bureaucratic hoops and hurdles.

Mud is a black-and-white dreamscape without any interviews or commentary. Harsh reality makes its presence felt only occasionally via short news clips on a smartphone, a TV news broadcast quickly zapped away to a gameshow with Soviet songs, and soldiers silently taking mud baths.

The film switches between activities behind the scenes and front-of-house, in machine and treatment rooms, and impressionistic still lifes of empty corridors and people relaxing. This microcosm of a health spa becomes an allegory of contemporary Russia, with mud rituals and curative baths assuaging potential social unrest, and ultra-detailed surveillance silencing any possibly rebellious individuals.

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Credits
50 min
black and white
DCP
Spoken languages: Russian
Director
    Ilya Povolotsky
    Ilya Povolotsky
Production
    Ilya Povolotsky,
    Nikolay Zheludovich
    Ilya Povolotsky,
    Nikolay Zheludovich
Executive producer
    Victoria E. Chernukha
    Victoria E. Chernukha
Cinematography
    Nikolay Zheludovich
    Nikolay Zheludovich
Editing
    Ilya Povolotsky
    Ilya Povolotsky
Sound
    Ilya Povolotsky
    Ilya Povolotsky
Sound Design
    Andrey Dergachev
    Andrey Dergachev
Screening copy
    Ilya Povolotsky
    Ilya Povolotsky

Stills

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The focus of this selection of international or world premieres is on films with a more daring form, where makers approach reality from a different angle and seek out the furthest boundaries of documentary art.The Envision Competition is supported by Ammodo.
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