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The Moscow International Film Festival Begins Quietly But Packs a Cinematic Punch

The big premieres are “Silver Skates,” “Dissolve” and “Mosquito”

The 42nd Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) is being held in the autumn for the first time in its history. Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Staggered seating, social distancing, masks and gloves – so begins the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF). The organizers couldn't invite Hollywood and international celebrities to the opening ceremony, but this didn’t stop MIFF from coming up with a new and extremely rich movie program. Many of the films presented at the festival, unfortunately, will not be released in wide distribution. Nevertheless, among the film premieres there are a  number of films that will be in movie theaters soon. Here are some of the most interesting and long-awaited movies this year. 

“Silver Skates,” directed by Mikhail Lokshin.

“Silver Skates,” directed by Mikhail Lokshin

A historical fairy tale with light notes of fantasy opens the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival. The story is based on the novel by American writer Mary Mapes Dodge. The plot takes place in St. Petersburg in 1899 during the Christmas season. The main character is the son of a local lamplighter. After an accident, he loses his job and becomes a member of a street gang. However, soon he falls in love with a girl from the upper class of St. Petersburg. Despite the difference in social status, the young people try to find happiness, and the magic of St. Petersburg in winter helps. This film will be released in cinemas across the country on December 10, but visitors of MIFF can watch “Silver Skates” right now.

"Mosquito," directed by Joao Nuno Pinto

The plot of the film "Mosquito" is based on real historical events of the last century. The director of this film was inspired by the life of his own grandfather, who at the age of 17 went to fight in Mozambique and contracted malaria. He was abandoned by his own comrades long before he could get to a battlefield. The film tells about the philosophical changes in the mind of this young soldier during the Portuguese colonial campaigns in Africa and about the true value of human life not only during war, but also in peacetime.

"Dissolve," directed by Kim Ki-duk

This is not the first appearance of South Korean director Kim Ki-duk at the Moscow film festival. Last year, he headed the MIFF jury, presenting his work "Human, Space, Time and Human.”  This time the famous movie director is showing the film that he worked on during his last trip to Kazakhstan. The film "Dissolve" tells the story of two girls who look similar to each other - they are almost like twins. One works as a prostitute, and the other is from a conservative family. Due to a twist of fate, they change places, and the viewer has to guess who is who in reality, and how this dramatic plot will end.

"Dissolve," directed by Kim Ki-duk

"Uppercase Print" (“Tipografic majuscule”), directed by Radu Jude

In this new film"Uppercase Print," Romanian film director and screenwriter Radu Jude  tells about the rigid censorship in Romania during Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship. The creator of this movie - based on real historical events - conveys the repressive atmosphere of the 1980s in his native country through a mixture of archival documentaries and theatrical reconstruction.

"Another Round" (Druk), directed by Thomas Winterberg

Thomas Winterberg is showing a very entertaining and instructive tragicomedy about four men who discover all the “horrors and joys” of alcoholism in adulthood. "Another Round" shows the story of four friends: a history teacher, a school coach, a psychologist, and an economist. Each of them imbibe hard alcohol in various amounts to become more relaxed. According to the film director, the movie shows that alcohol can bring not only a feeling of a holiday, but also can severely cripple a person and damage his world.

The MIFF screenings will be held all over Moscow: in the Oktyabr, Fakel, Yunost, Zvezda, Salyut theaters, as well as in the Center for Documentary Film, the theaters in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Illusion Theater and Dom Kino.

Ticket-buying is not all that easy. Click on the schedule on the MIFF website, then the film you’re interested in, and then on the “buy tickets” icon. You will get transferred to the movie theater site where you can purchase tickets (250 rubles). 

Moviegoers will not be admitted without a mask. Seating will be scattered throughout the halls to ensure proper social distancing. 

For more information and ticket purchase, see the site here.

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