. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Civil Status: Films by Alina Rudnitskaya

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | October 29, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 6:00 pm | Alina Rudnitskaya in person!

Still from “Bitch Academy” (Alina Rudnitskaya, 2008). Image courtesy the artist.

Still from “Bitch Academy” (Alina Rudnitskaya, 2008). Image courtesy the artist.

Often absurd and occasionally shattering, Alina Rudnitskaya’s documentaries are tragicomic field notes on the bracing cultural and political changes of “New Russia.”  Produced largely through the storied St. Petersburg Documentary Studio, her films examine the day-to-day lives of her fellow citizens while illuminating their aspirations for and fantasies about the future. This evening, in a rare U.S. appearance, Rudnitskaya presents three films from her award-winning body of work. In Bitch Academy (2008), she follows a group of women who go back to school to become “strong women” by learning to seduce millionaire sugar daddies. Some revel in the school’s provocative hands-on lessons while others grimly choke back tears—only hinting at the troubles they hope to escape—as they struggle to master this new form of empowerment. In Civil Status (2005), Rudnitskaya observes the everyday drama of work at the Civil Registry office, where the ladies-only staff transforms the joy, fury, and grief of new brides, divorcing husbands, and recent widows into bureaucratic procedure. And, in Besame Mucho (2006) she sketches an intimate portrait of an amateur choir in rural Tikhvin as they rehearse for group of Italian diplomats. In Russian with English subtitles. Alina Rudnitskaya, 2005-08, Russia, 35mm and Beta SP video, ca. 90 min (plus discussion).

ALINA RUDNITSKAYA (1976, Zaozernyj, Russian Federation) is a director and scriptwriter. She received a degree from the Academy of Aerospace Engineering, St. Petersburg in 1997 and studied film directing at St. Petersburg’s University of Culture and Arts from 1997-2001.  Her short films, largely produced through the renowned St. Petersburg Documentary Studio, have garnered over thirty international awards prizes and have screened worldwide, including at the Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany; the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; International Film Festival Vila do Conde, Portugal; Documentamadrid, Spain; the London Film Festival, UK; Transmediale, Berlin, Germany; and Silverdocs, Maryland, USA; among many others. She lives and works in St. Petersburg.

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