Broadway - Black Sea

Broadway - Black Sea

Broadway - Černé moře

Photography: Pavel Kostomarov
Editing: Georgij Klubkov, Igor Nikolajev
Music: Vitalij Kryglikov

The sea between the southeastern Europe and the Asia Minor whose waters reflect large ports, like Odessa, Constance, Varna, the sand slopes down to the water of the Black Sea beaches, one of them being called Broadway. And this is where Russian Director Vitalij Manskij went to record stories of people who met in the hot days on one place on the border of the earth, the water and the sun.

Manskij has a sense of spontaneity and irony, he undresses his heroes on the amorphous background of summer bodies physically as well as mentally in situations whose time level is scattered, and he lets them talk so that their fates are united in the story of one beach. He meets political and economic refugees, observers of shows, untanned families, salesmen of everything, children (their sea scream is the sound of the film), soldiers. He slowly moves around the place where a little town of tents and stalls always grows for a couple of summer months. The town is crossed by sandy streets with parked cars - we are on a Russian beach and there are typical old Russian cars.

Every year there is a certain Babylon on the beach (a unity of place of human dialectics), created by people of different generations and social standings, however all of them are in swimming suits (or without them). The film atomizes a permanent dialogue across fragmentary division and creates a specific conception of time, it is not a film of flow but a film of slow ebbs and flows in which character typology is limited notably to social typology.

Individual actions do not unite in the film, the document of bustling with several important personages encompasses the environment, spectators cannot be dragged into the story, they are mere observers. What is dominant is static but profound scenes with a large range of movements and a long emotional fading, individual scenes are so clear, visual, sophisticated and pointed that we get the impression they must have been prepared in advance.

As for the characters, the film presents notably a salesman of clowns and dwarfs, an owner of a show testing one's force and a beach photographer with a trained monkey and an artificial palm. The film is also crossed by a battered car with several lads who bring movement among the drowsy bodies, and we observe the sexual shivering of young bodies in the local nudist coin seen by their eyes.

Manskij stresses the atmosphere, he gently removes the mass of human flesh in full sun, he shows precise pictures of bewilderment and of drunken amusement in a dirty snack bar at night, and as intermezzo, shoots a night childbirth into water, he evokes purity of the daybreak on an empty beach. He spends with holidaymakers every day till the first rain which brings the end of the season. Everyone goes home but they know they will get back for the next summer.

Festival of documentary films Cinema du Réel in Nyon / the film obtained a second prize in the main competition.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2002
Sections: Baedecker


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