Aleksandr Mindadze’s drama about the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 is filled with despair. Anton Shagin brilliantly plays the part of main character Valerij, whose presence in this film gives the story an extra edge. Svetlana Smirnova beautifully portrays his girlfriend.

Valerij is a member of the Communist party and works for a nuclear power station where a terrible accident occurs. One day, Valerij receives information about deadly levels of radiation destined to soon reach the neighboring town Pripyat. Government officials attempt to keep the disaster as a secret to avoid mass hysteria, and Valerij is sworn to secrecy. His attempt to flee the city together with his girlfriend fails, and they find themselves back in the old neighborhood. Their knowledge of the accident drives the pair into self-denial and madness.

Mindadze effectively captures the visceral responses of panic and fear and manages to impressively depict the local surroundings of Ukraine.

Innocent Saturday poster
Title
Innocent Saturday
Director
Alexander Mindadze
Country
Russia/ Germany/ Ukraine
Length
99 min
Festival
2011
Section
Open Zone
Language
Russian
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2011
Original title
V subbotu
Cast
Anton Shagin, Svetlana Smirnova-Marcinkevich, Stanislav Ryadinskiy, Vasilij Gusov
Producer
Dmitri Efremov, Matthias Esche, Oleg Kokhan, Philipp Kreuzer, Alexander Rodnyansky
Script
Alexander Mindadze
Music
Mihail Kovalev

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