The Potato Eaters

    • Dina Barinova
    • Russia
    • 2018
    • 51 min
    • World Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

    Grandparents Svetlana and Victor live in abject poverty with their son Sergei and their grandchildren, in a cramped house in a half-deserted Russian village. They’re a contemporary version of Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters—cabbage and potatoes are their staple diet. Svetlana constantly worries about repaying her debts. She’s the head of this stressed household, in which every ruble has to be counted carefully. Her husband hangs around drunk all day, while the children’s mother is completely absent.

    The camera follows family life in every detail. Sergei, who Svetlana says was “born different,” is the most cheerful adult in the household. Scenes of him playing with the children or listening to the radio brighten up this family portrait. The two toddlers splash in puddles, pick plums and dance to music. Nevertheless, there’s the depressing sense that the newborn baby faces the same hopeless future as his grandparents. Sergei puts another old record on, but it gets stuck, just like their lives.

    Credits

    • 51 min
    • Spoken languages: Russian
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Dina Barinova
    Production
    Marina Razbezhkina for Marina Razbezhkina Studio
    Cinematography
    Dina Barinova
    Editing
    Dina Barinova, Yuri Geddert, Daniil Rodionov
    Sound
    Yuri Geddert

    IDFA history

    2018
    World Premiere
    IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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    IDFA history

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