Boris Ryzhy Director Aliona van der Horst NETHERLANDS/2008/BETACAM/COLOUR/59 MIN/RUSSIAN ENGLISH SUBTITLES Prize-winning documentary film by Aliona van der Horst about Russian poet Boris Ryzhy "All of my poems speak only of love and death," wrote Russian poet Boris Ryzhy (1974-2001) in 2000. "But all the same, I'm happy with my wife and son." One year later, the charming young tough, who had already achieved considerable literary renown, hanged himself-in so doing following in the footsteps of many Russian artists before him. The author of a thousand poems and recipient of Russia's most prestigious literary prize, he was only 26 years old. Trying to understand what drove him to suicide, van der Horst uncovers the hidden drama of the entire perestroika generation, for which Boris Ryzhy was the standard bearer. "We were deprived of communism without being given access to capitalism," explains his widow. The perestroika years of the Yeltsin era, a time that we in the West associate with democracy and freedom, have an entirely different meaning in the anarchic streets of Yekaterinenburg, the industrial city where Ryzhy grew up and which so marked his life and work. However, despite this dark reality, Ryzhy's love of life is what comes to the fore in van der Horst's poetic film: through his work, pain is transformed into grace.
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