Skip to main content


Russia, 1997 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: Lidia Bobrova

In That Land is a rare journey into a world which in many respects has not changed in a hundred years. Its territory is a small village in the north of Russia, a region which for better or worse has been largely overlooked by the probing eyes of the modern world. The film centres around three main characters who come to signify the essence of the Russian soul. Chapurin is the village's team-leader who takes care of the people, yet will betray them for the right price. A shepherd, Skuridin, feels the weight of a difficult family life and harsh political realities on his shoulders. Lastly there is Zaika, a talented soul wasting his life on alcohol. Facing an unforgiving landscape, they embrace life and death in ways unique to their circumstances, universal in spirit.

The acute sensitivity of Lidia Bobrova's In That Land has earnt the film important international recognition, including the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival in France, and the prestigious Peace Award at this year's International Berlin Film Festival. Rising above expectations, the film avoids victimising its characters or stirring saccarhin sympathy for their hardships. Instead, everyday life is laid bare, its struggles defined with endearing humour intact. The result is a lyrical film with rich characterisation and brutal realism. In That Land is a triumph.

"Russia looks to me like an iceberg, with Moscow, St Petersburg and the provincial towns forming the above-water part, while the god-forsaken depths of the country make up its underwater bulk. It is there that its real personages are living, and their stories are as eternal as life itself, with its inevitable need to choose between good and evil." - Lidia Bobrova

Lidia Bobrova is a guest of the Festival

Lidia Bobrova was born in 1952. She studied history at the University of Leningrad and scriptwriting at the Moscow Film School. While studying advanced courses in script and direction she made her first film, Oh, You Geese... (1997).

See also...


"Lyrical and mysterious... takes the viewer on a voyage into the human soul." - Hollywood Reporter ... Silent Souls follows Aist, a professional photographer and writer, and his boss Miron, as they ... More »


Real life characters make up the cast of Dolce. They include celebrated Japanese author Toshio Shimao, who died in 1986, his widow and their daughter. The film serves as a framework to underline deep ... More »


“Good doesn't exist, but evil does.” ... Goethe's version of the Faust legend gets a dense and idiosyncratic reinterpretation at the hands of Russian master Aleksander Sokurov (Russian Ark) ... More »


"A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev in outstanding form." - Variety ... Elena dotes on her selfish, wealthy husband Vladimir and lives a lonely life ... More »


"In its lawlessness and chaos, the Russia of 1984 was every bit as grotesque as anything dreamed up in the realms of modernist fiction." - Screen Daily ... Set on the eve of Perestroika, Cargo 200 ... More »


Turn of the century St Petersburg: two respectable families come under the scrutiny of Johann, a malicious pornographer, and his sinister, grinning accomplice. Johann's discreetly perverse spanking ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director