Playing the Victim

  • 95'
  • Russia
  • 2006
Playing the Victim is, in the words of its makers, ‘an absurd black comedy about the facts of contemporary life, with a philosophical crescendo at the end of the film and with hidden quotations from Hamlet.’ Absurdism and humour are present throughout the film.
Having just graduated, Valya (Yuri Chursin) accepts a bizarre job to support himself. He has to visit different crime scenes and re-enact the crime in the presence of the suspects, and following their detailed account. All these actions are amateurishly recorded by Ljuda, a slightly naïve police officer (Anna Mikhalkova; see also the film Relations) who is under the command of the police captain (Vitaly Khaev). The crimes and the characters vary and are as absurd as everything around: from cutting a woman into pieces and trying to get rid of them in a chemical toilet to throwing a wife from a window, to shooting a colleague in a Japanese restaurant. Valya plays the role of victim until this strange job influences his own life in a peculiar way.
As with his film Bed Stories, Kirill Serebrennikov here shows excellent talent in observing human behaviour. He does this with a lot of wit and humour - even with a dash of slapstick - all formally wrapped in contemporary packaging. (LC)

Director
Kirill Serebrennikov
Country of production
Russia
Production Year
2006
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
95'
Medium
35mm
Original title
mte Izobrajaya zhertvu
Language
Russian
Producer
Natalya Mokrizkaya
Production Company
New People Film Company
Sales
Roissy Films
Screenplay
The Presnyakov Brothers, based on a play by them
Cinematography
Sergei Mokritsky
Editor
Olga Grinshpun
Production Design
Valery Arkhipov
Music
Daler Khasanov
Cast
Yuri Chursin, Vitaly Khaev
Website
http://izhertvu.ru