The Cherry Orchard

    1993, 35mm, 78 minutes, VIMA productions

    Director:
    Anna Tchernakova
    Cinematographer
    Yevgeny Pheliphorov
    Alexander Karyuk

    Cast
    Ranevskaya : Tatiana Lavrova
    Lopakhin : Alexander Pheklistov
    Varya : Alyona Kolchugina
    Gayef : Vladlen Davydov
    Firs : Alexander Grave
    Charlotta : Evdokiya Germanova
    Epikhodof : Pavel Belozerov
    Petya Trophimof : Alexander Shpagin
    Anya : Mariya Surova
    Pishchik : Vladimir Poglazov
    Yasha : Maxim Drozd
    Dunyasha : Darya Volga
    Passer-by : Anatoly Bocharov

    Produced in 1992-93, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this film is a fascinating version of Chekhov’s last symbol-saturated play. It exposed aristocracy’s fading grip on Russia at the end of the 19th century, anticipating the revolutions of the years to come.

    The film was shot on a 19th-century estate and is an attempt to translate the structure of the play into the medium of film. Describing the movements of the characters beyond what is shown on stage, it explores and interprets the characters in Chekhov’s play free of the restrictions of the theatre.

    The house itself becomes an important part of the unravelling drama; a fortress, refuge and protection from the outside world and its anarchy, hatred and death; a symbol of peace and tradition, but also of backwardness.

    In this sense the film also becomes a powerful reminder of the changes which shook the Soviet Union in the last decade of the 20th century.

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