Retrospective screenings of Kira Muratova in Australia

Starting June 17 till July 1 Melbourne cinematheque, in Australia will host a retrospective screenings of films made by Ukrainian director Kira Muratova. All films on 35mm prints are provided by Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.


“From her early “provincial melodramas” to her masterpiece The Asthenic Syndrome and later films, this season charts a developing aesthetic of increasingly bizarre works embodied by her latest film Eternal Homecoming – a celebration of cinematic art and its uninhibited creation” (Melbourne cinematheque).

The program consists of six films that were created at different times. They widely demonstrate creativity of Kira Muratova. Viewers will be acquainted with the following films:

  • "Brief Encounters" (1967)
  • "Long Farewell" (1971)
  • "Getting to know the big wide world" (1978)
  • "The asthenic syndrome" (1989)
  • "The Tuner" (2004)
  • "Eternal homecoming" (2012)

Australian audience will see for the first time retrospective screenings from this talented director.


The event is highly appreciated by foreign colleagues as all the films were provided by Dovzhenko Center on original media (35 mm prints). Learn more about the program and information about hits retrospective on our official site Melbourne Cinematheque, the link: http://goo.gl/Vh5IsG


Screenings program:



Kira Muratova (1967) 98’

Shelved for 20 years by Soviet censors, Muratova’s first solo feature contains the building blocks of her experimental style including the use of flashbacks, a lack of clear or conventional narrative, montages of still photographs and audio discontinuities. Focusing on the woman’s realm, and depicting a love triangle between a provincial bureaucrat (played by Muratova), a wandering geologist and a country girl trying her luck in the city, this is nevertheless a documentary-like portrayal of Soviet life highlighting the divide between the urban intelligentsia and the under-privileged peasants.


June 17, 8:50PM – LONG FAREWELLS

Kira Muratova (1971) 97’

Ostensibly the story of the strained relationship between a divorced translator and her teenaged son, who would rather live with his father in Siberia, the “film’s almost unbearable tension… is explored in a series of fluid, inventive sequences, which bring a visual sophistication – with acting and music to match – … [that] show Muratova [to be] streets ahead of her male contemporaries” (Ian Christie). Muratova’s important early feature, scripted by prominent feminist Natalya Ryazantseva, was deemed too aesthetic, personal and elitist by Soviet authorities, and was subsequently banned and its director 
was ejected from the filmmakers’ union.



Kira Muratova (1989) 153’

Muratova cleverly drags her audience through this masterpiece of glasnost by tragi-comic means, creating a window into the future of post-communist Russia through the lens of affliction – an entire society taken by the Asthenic Syndrome, once known as hypochondria. Banned by the Soviet government for obscenity, this caustic and allegorical epic uses colour and its absence to great effect, enhancing a narrative that gradually builds walls of discomfort around an imprisoned audience as it battles identification with its frustrating and frustrated protagonist.



Kira Muratova (1979) 75’

A construction site, a symbol of newness and growth, serves as the background to an impassioned and unresolved love triangle. The drab terrain is little more than mud and cement, but the sky is a blanket of colour and light, offering the three confused lovers the glow of potential solace. Against this landscape, the sensual, poetic and mundane beauty of Muratova’s vision elevates the everyday reality of Soviet society. Starring Nina Ruslanova, Sergei Popov and Alexei Zharkov, and featuring a piano score by Valentin Silvestrov, Muratova has claimed this to be the favourite of her own films.



Kira Muratova (2012) 114’

In her latest film, made at the age of 78, Muratova brings together her favourite actors – from stars of Russian cinema to amateur actors who had worked with her previously – to act in a film about… casting. But this is no ordinary film about acting, as the director employs a variety of cinematic devices to play with – even trick – her audience. Through her much-loved use of the refrain and repetition, Muratova proves she continues to be fascinated with the aesthetic possibilities of the cinema.


July 1, 9:05 – THE TUNER

Kira Muratova (2004) 154’

Petty thievery and even an elaborate scam may be the work of idle hands, but the titular piano tuner and his current lover will do whatever it takes to get by in the hellish rubble of the former Soviet Union. Human nature itself comes under attack in this sharp social satire, but the film’s true bite is in presenting swindling as an art form. Entertaining and deceptive, Muratova takes no prisoners as she likens street crime to cinema.

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