January 2016, arsenal cinema

Berlin Premiere: ZAPLYV – SWIMMERS

ZAPLYV, 2015

Who is happy in Russia? The search for meaning, happiness and footing in a community can take on an odd shape - for example, when a group of adults walks single file into the sea to then hop through the water making strange movements or indulges in nocturnal psychedelic theatrical performances. The swimming and dancing rituals are led by Boris Zolotov, a once famous Soviet physicist who abandoned academic life to spread his cosmic wisdom. Without wanting to interpret or debunk anything, in ZAPLYV (G/RUS/HU 2015) Kristina Paustian juxtaposes documentary observations of daily life in the guru's commune in southern Russia with archive footage of his appearances in crowded auditoriums or on TV. She also introduces a young woman as a protagonist who discusses the notion of happiness in today's Russia with Zolotov. (bik) (18.1.)