‘If an idea won’t let you rest, you need to shoot it’
Sergey Loznitsa’s In the Fog wins Odessa International Film Festival
By Vector Pavlov
The joint venture by cinematographers from Belarus, Russia, Latvia, Germany and the Netherlands is touching audiences around the world, having won a prize from the International FIPRESCI Federation of Film Critics at the Cannes Film Festival. In the Fog also won the major prize at the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival.
Based on Vasil Bykov’s short novel, the plot is set in 1942, in occupied Belarus. During an investigation into a train explosion, the Germans arrest railwayman Sushchenya but then unexpectedly release him. Local residents begin to suspect him of co-operating with the Fascists and two partisans lead Sushchenya into the forest to execute him as a traitor. On their way, they find themselves under fire and Sushchenya acquires the chance to prove his innocence.
Director Sergey Loznitsa admits that the film isn’t about war. “It’s a story about injustice and harsh times,” he explains. “As a topic felt acutely worldwide, it’s one that’s worth exploring, aiming to gain closer understanding of how people live in times of war. Past experience can influence us today. I’d wanted to shoot a film based on Vasil Bykov’s work for a decade; if an idea won’t let you rest, you need to shoot a film.”
According to the Belarusfilm National Film Studios’ Marketing Department, the film will appear widely after its festival run, being screened in Belarus at the end of this year.