(San Francisco, CA)—Mikhail Morozov is a self-described Russian patriot, good Christian and successful businessman. He owns Durakovo, which is Russian for “the Village of Fools,” 100 kilometers southwest of Moscow. People go there from all over Russia to learn how to live and become “true Russians.” When they join the Village of Fools, the new residents abandon all their former rights and agree to obey Morozov’s strict rules. “What we have here is a society that respects the vertical of power; this is what our country needs most of all,” says Morozov quoting his idol, former Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Directed by Nino Kirtadze, winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Directing Award, FOR GOD, TSAR AND FATHERLAND reveals what drives Russian patriotism today and why so many Russians have become disillusioned with democracy and long for a return to the old days of the Soviet Union. FOR GOD, TSAR AND FATHERLAND will have its U.S. premiere on Sunday, June 6, 2008, at 10pm on Global Voices, a new series produced by ITVS International airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel (check local listings).
Morozov has lived in the village of Durakovo for many years and has turned it into a place that he describes as a community where people can come to learn how to be happy, how to cure themselves from all bad Western influences, rebuild their mental and physical health, and become what he considers to be “true Russians.” Morozov created Durakovo with the idea of helping his fellow countrymen “stay sober and awake” in an effort to combat the staggering number of alcohol-related deaths that occur yearly in Russia. Morozov’s driving motivation is his desire to save the nation from this mortal sin (alcoholism) and to teach people to live in what he calls a “managed democracy.” According to Morozov, “the democracy proposed by the West is just a plot against Russia and will bring nothing but disorder.” The inhabitants of Durakovo submit themselves completely to Morozov’s absolute power, toiling day and night for his benefit under heavy indoctrination with the hope that Morozov will help them transform their lives and return a debilitating Russia to its former glory.
What director Nino Kirtadze brings to the surface in FOR GOD, TSAR AND FATHERLAND is the strong sense of patriotism and the even stronger resolve of Morozov and the inhabitants of Durakovo that translates to the belief that democracy is not for the citizens of the new Russia. The big lingering question, however, is this: What does the future hold for them, for a potential post-democratic Russia and for the world?
Nino Kirtadze (Director)
Nino Kirtadze was born in 1968 in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. After advanced literature studies, she became a university lecturer at age 23. She has worked as a consultant to the president of the Republic of Georgia and as a journalist, covering the war in Chechnya and armed conflicts in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Her first documentary, The Three Lives of Eduard Shevardnadze, screened at the Toronto and Cannes international film festivals. Her 2005 documentary, The Pipeline Next Door, received the award for best documentary from the European Film Academy. She speaks Russian, Georgian, English and French. Kirtadze won the 2008 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Directing Award for Durakovo: Village of Fools, the 90-minute version of FOR GOD, TSAR AND FATHERLAND.
Paul Rozenberg (Producer)
Rozenberg graduated from l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. He created Zadig Productions, an independent audiovisual company, five years ago. He was joined by Bruno Nahon in 2002 and by Félicie Roblin in 2003. Zadig Productions’ projects are broad-based, with a strong focus on social, cultural and political editorial content, thus generating international outreach. Zadig works with the main national French channels and with the international market, including HBO, ORF, ZDF and Keshet.
About Global Voices
Global Voices is a new series produced by ITVS International to air on the PBS WORLD digital channel beginning Sunday, March 30, 2008, at 10pm (check local listings). The first original series to launch on PBS WORLD, the 26-week series will bring to a national audience internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers. Global Voices will feature the U.S. premieres of five documentaries funded by ITVS International as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. Encore presentations include the Academy Award nominee DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, the Emmy Award winner A LION’S TRAIL, and the Independent Spirit Award Winner and Emmy nominee LOST BOYS OF SUDAN. For more information about Global Voices, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices.
About ITVS International
ITVS International is a division of Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. The series True Stories: Life in the USA promotes selected American independent films to audiences around the world. ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. For more information, visit www.itvs.org/international.
About PBS WORLD
PBS WORLD is a new channel featuring documentary and public affairs programming from public television’s award-winning signature series and acclaimed independent filmmakers. Produced and distributed by PBS, WGBH Boston and Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with American Public Television and the National Educational Telecommunications Association, PBS WORLD launched on 55 stations across the country, representing 24 licensees and reaching more than 27 percent of U.S. households. In most markets, PBS WORLD programming will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information about PBS WORLD is available at pbs.org.
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