From filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky comes an epic, intimate and poetic meditation on architecture and how the design and construction of buildings from the ancient past reveal our destruction – and offer hope for survival and a way forward. Centering on a landscape project by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi, Kossakovsky uses the circle to reflect on the rise and fall of civilisations, capturing breathtaking imagery from the temple ruins of Baalbek in Lebanon, dating back to AD 60, to the recent destruction of cities in Turkey following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in early 2023. Rocks and stone connect the disparate societies, from ghostly monoliths stuck in the earth to tragic heaps of concrete rubble waiting to be hauled off and repurposed anew. Through Kossakovsky’s inquisitive lens, the grandeur and folly of humanity and its precarious relationship with nature posits the urgent question: How do we build, and how can we build better, before it’s too late?
by Victor Kossakovsky Germany / France / USA 2024 Italian, English 98’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Director Victor Kossakovsky
Screenplay Victor Kossakovsky
Cinematography Ben Bernhard
Editing Victor Kossakovsky, Ainara Vera
Music Evgueni Galperine
Sound Design Alexander Dudarev
Sound Alexander Dudarev
Producer Heino Deckert
Executive Producers Ben Cotner, Emily Osborne, Adriana Banta, Frank Lehmann, Nick Shumaker
Co-Producers Clara Vuillermoz, Estelle Robin You, Charlotte Hailstone

Produced by Filmproduktions GmbH

Victor Kossakovsky

The filmmaker began his career in 1978 at the Leningrad Studio of Documentaries as a camera assistant, assistant director and editor. In 1988, he graduated with a degree in screenwriting and directing from the Moscow Film School. His feature debut The Belovs won both the VPRO Joris Ivens Award and the Audience Award at the IDFA in 1993. Since then, his films have received numerous prizes. His previous film, Gunda, premiered in the Encounters section at the 2020 Berlinale and was nominated for the European Film Award.

Filmography (selection)

1993 Belovy (The Belovs) 1997 Sreda 19.07.1961 (Wednesday 19.07.1961) 1999 Pavel i Lyalya (Pavel and Lyalya); short film 2001 Ya vas lubil (I Loved You...) 2003 Tishe! (Hush!) 2005 Svyato; short film 2011 ¡Vivan las antípodas! 2014 Demonstration 2018 Aquarela 2020 Gunda 2024 Architecton

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024