Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Malchik russkiy

A Russian Youth

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In a First World War trench, a uniformed Russian boy with freckles loses his sight during a German gas attack. Due to his keen sense of hearing, he is kept at the front and deployed to listen out for enemy planes at the giant metal pipes that form a kind of early-warning system.
The colours are faded, as if the images were from another time. But there’s also a stylised, abstract quality to the grainy footage. Little by little, the bodies take centre stage – their vulnerability and their energy, they almost seem like creatures. The camera and the editing keep pace with the young blind man. He lurches through the military camp, annoying the other men because he can only grasp his surroundings by touch. His face remains open, innocent. He seems to be trying to find a place for himself as a soldier, both literally and figuratively. Contemporary documentary recordings of orchestra rehearsals for Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 Op. 30 (1909) and Symphonic Dances Op. 45 (1940) don’t interrupt the narrative flow, but rather translate motifs and themes into an acoustic resonance chamber.

Alexander Zolotukhin

Russian Federation 2019


72’ · Colour

World premiere


Vladimir Korolev (Alexey)
Mikhail Buturlov (Nazarka)
Artem Leshik (Makar Petrovich)
Danil Tyabin (Corpsman)
Sergey Goncharenko (Officer)
Filipp Dyachkov (Propagandist)


Written and Directed by
Alexander Zolotukhin
Ayrat Yamilov
Tatyana Kuzmicheva
Sergei Rachmaninow
Sound Design
Andrey Fonin
Andrey Fonin
Production Design
Elena Zhukova
Olga Bakhareva
Kseniya Malkina
Eduard Pichugin, Lenfilm Studios, Alexander Sokurov, "Example of Intonation" Fund


Alexander Zolotukhin

Born in Zaporozhye in the former Soviet Union, now Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine, in 1988. He first took a degree in computer science and subsequently graduated from a directing workshop run by Alexander Sokurov. His debut film A Russian Youth screened in the 2019 Berlinale Forum. He lives and works in Saint Petersburg.


2011 Novyi Prometei (New Prometheus); short film 2012 Pesni, chto peli do menya (Songs That People Sang Before I Was Born); short film 2014 Ornament; short film 2016 Opyty (Esse); medium-length film 2017 Zhizn' moego druga (Life Story of My Friend); short film 2019 Malchik russkiy (A Russian Youth) · Spotknutsya (To Stumble); short film 2022 Brat vo vsyom (Brother in Every Inch)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022

Produced by

Lenfilm Studios

Example of Intonation Fund

World Sales