Boris Ryzhy
About IDFA
Boris Ryzhy
IDFA 2008

Boris Ryzhy

Aliona van der Horst
59 min
World Premiere
Festival history
IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary
The streets of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg have little consideration for the past. Or could it be director Aliona van der Horst's camera that puts off the former neighbours of the Russian poet Boris Ryzhy? In any case, they cannot recall the promising young man seven years after his death (he committed suicide in 2001 at the age of 27) when Van der Horst and Ryzhy's sister come knocking at their doors. But this is precisely what brings the filmmaker closer to Ryzhy. Both his life and poems were determined by the closed, mistrustful character of the dismal industrial town, where crime has flourished since the democratisation of Russia. Apart from Ryzhy's sister, the film introduces his wife and their son, who is 15 now. But the chief resource Van der Horst has at her disposal is Ryzhy himself. Sometimes warm-hearted, sometimes blunt, he recites his work on old sound recordings, while we watch the subjects of his poems: his bleak hometown, his crumbling neighbourhood, the residents he both admired and reviled. And we see Ryzhy in old video footage, walking these same streets, a melancholy smile on his face. For a brief moment, he is brought back to life.
Screening copy
    Zeppers Film & TV
    Zeppers Film & TV
Involved TV Channel