Skip to main content

WEDNESDAY

Russia / Germany / UK / Finland, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Documentaries)

Director: Victor Kossakovsky

Leningrad, 19 July 1961. A summer's day and the newspapers are full of the usual articles. The world is (un)comfortably entangled in the Cold War. An average day in Leningrad: 101 babies are born in the Soviet city, 51 girls and 50 boys. One of them is filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky.

St Petersburg 1995: the city carries the name of its founder once again. This single fact alone speaks of the enormous political changes which have taken place. After 34 years Victor Kos­sakovsky tries to track down all the others who were born on that July day in 1961. Of the original 101, 31 have relocated, died or disappeared, 70 remain in St Petersburg and, astoundingly, Kossakovsky captures every one of them on film.

An ambitious and undoubtedly bizarre documentary, at times chilling and always awesome in its implications, Wednesday provides an illuminating glimpse into the lives of 35 year-old Rus­sians residing in the heart of the fragmenting Motherland. Kossakovsky has elicited a range of interviews from the outspoken to the painfully shy and the outright violent (Kossakovsky and crew are physically elected from one residence!). The images are generally haunting and present a Russia that is still toned grey. Tremendously entertaining, heartfelt and insightful.

See also...

¡VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS!

“Constructed around an elegantly simple idea but executed with grace and ingenuity.” - Variety ... What would happen if you drilled a tunnel straight through the centre of the earth? It's a ... More »

MIRROR, MIRROR

In the words of Consuela Cosmetic (born Floyd William Bradford in 1958), "I'm a fair-skinned black male, self-made star, show personality, couture specialist, scam artist, credit card fraud ... More »

LINES FROM THE HEART

Lines from the Heart treats its audience to an hour in the company of the great Swedish actresses Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson and Gunnel Lindblom. Gathering at the late director Mai ... More »

A HEALTHY BABY GIRL

25 year old Judith Helfand is crewing on a doc­umentary about the cancerous effects of DES (a drug supposed to prevent miscarriages which was widely prescribed in the 1960s) when she discovers ... More »

LOVE'S DEBRIS

Werner Schroeter is a living, avant garde leg­end - "Germany's greatest marginal direc­tor", according to Thomas Elsaesser - whose heady brew of passionate melodrama, queer sexuality and ... More »

PUNCH ME IN THE STOMACH

New Zealand-born comedian Deb Filler's one-woman show, Punch Me In the Stomach, has now been adapted for the cinema. A very funny roller coaster ride through her story of growing up Jewish in New ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director