The 21st annual Russian Film Symposium will focus on a key debate still surrounding Russia today: did Russia evolve toward a sustained empire, or has it recently reconfigured into what we would now recognize as the nation-state? The expansion of ethnicities, nationalities, language groups, as well as territory, necessitated the formation of a strong central state and administration to oversee the key factors that constituted the newly emerged polity. The state and its constantly expanding apparatus exercised control over a sixth of the planet, several hundred language-speaking communities and ethnicities. While this control was maintained in the name of (at times, Holy) Russia, was Russia as a nation largely absent? If so, what does “belonging” look like in Russia today?
Films include Aleksei Krasovskii’s Holiday (2019), Sergei Livnev’s Van Goghs (2018), Aleksei German, Jr.’s Dovlatov(2018), Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Anna’s War (2018), Kirill Serebrennikov’s Summer (2018), Oleg Mavromatti’sMonkey, Ostrich, and Grave (2017), Boris Khlebnikov’sArrhythmia (2017), and Mikhail Segal’s A Film about Alekseev (2014).