The Lighthouse

  • 78'
  • Russia
  • 2006
The Caucasian countries - Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan - have experienced considerable internal political turmoil since the break-up of the Soviet Union and the region is still far from politically stable. No wonder then that post-Soviet intrigues, conflicts, and the struggle for economic recovery are a fascinating source of material for local artists, film makers included.
Emigration is one of the consequences of these conflicts. The Lighthouse tells the story of Lena, a young woman who emigrated as a girl and returns to visit her family and everything that had been dear to her. On her return Lena realises that a decision to stay will not be easy. When she then does decide to return to Moscow, where she has built up her new life, she is trapped by the local situation. No trains, no way to leave. She is torn between her feelings of loyalty for this precious land, and her private life and personal choices.
Lena seems to be an alter ego of the young director Maria Saakyan who, together with the scriptwriter, comes from the region but lives in Moscow. And even though they were both still children when they left their homeland, they explore the state of mind of those torn between a country of origin and a new home - one of the biggest problems many emigrants have to deal with. An honest and beautifully shot film. (LC)

Maria Saakyan
Countries of production
Russia, Armenia
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Original title
Russian, Armenian, Georgian, Abkhazian
Anton Melnik, Irina Prokhorova
Production Company
Andreevsky Flag Film Company
Andreevsky Flag Film Company
Givi Shavgulidze
Maxim Drozdov
Production Design
Ivana Krchadinatz
Sofiko Chiaureli, Anna Kapaleva