The Iron Heel of Oligarchy

  • 75'
  • Russia
  • 1998
The director himself plays the protagonist Nikolai Petrovich, a Russian language and literature teacher who leaves the Siberian town of Tyumen and arrives in St Petersburg. He is an untiring propagandist, a kind of Don Quichote who doesn't realise that times have changed. The director allowed himself to be inspired by both Jack London's The Iron Heel and by Das Kapital by Marx, whose ideas seem completely absurd when transported to today's St Petersburg. Thus Nikolai Petrovich goes to industrial sites and calls on the workers to fight against the capitalist sharks, for good medical care etc. The workers do not listen to him. The only one to admire him is the blond Rita, who follows him everywhere as he launches into his speeches taken from Jack London's novel. Agents of the industrial oligarchies pursue him.Bashirov paraphrases Russian masters such as Chukhrai and Eisenstein. The way in which the stunningly shot film looks at the industrial landscape is loving and surreal at the same time. Bashirov: 'My film is a musical comedy. It is a protest against super-exploitation and super profits. If someone wants to die on a golden bed, then he is sure to die. There is not much eroticism in the film; most important is the beauty of men and women and music.'
Director
Alexander Bashirov
Country of production
Russia
Production Year
1998
Festival Edition
IFFR 1999
Length
75'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Zheleznaya pyata oligarkhij
Language
Russian
Producer
Deboshirfilm
Sales
Deboshirfilm
Screenplay
Alexander Bashirov
Cinematography
Vladimir Brylyakov
Cast
Alexander Bashirov