Expropriating my Sawmill

The Forest

There is no film poster available at the time of publication

Director: Roman Zhigalov

Cast: Oleg Shibayev, Natalya Rychlova, Oleg Feoktistov, Maria Avramkova

As seen at DIFF 2018 https://durbanfilmfest.co.za/

Spoiler Alert Valid for Date of Commercial Release if applicable

As the 2018 Durban International Film Festival coincided with the BRICS Summit happening in Johannesburg and the BRICS Film Festival which ran concurrently with DIFF2018, there were many films from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Whilst I am a fan of all films from these countries, I have also been particularly impressed with Russian cinema as its cinematic style is so refreshingly foreign and opposite to commercial American cinema. Director Nikita Mikhailkov’s brilliant and cutting political drama Burnt by the Sun (1994) comes to mind, which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1995.

At DIFF 2018, I watched director Roman Zhigalov gut-wrenching family drama The Forest set in rural Russia.

The Forest is a depressing tale about the implosion of a nuclear family, whereby the father’s sawmill gets expropriated by the state (the government actually burns it down as the father is unwilling to hand it over to the state), which should be a lesson about the economic consequences should South Africa’s ruling party’s proceed incautiously with the ridiculous decision to expropriate land without compensation, a burning political issue ahead of the 2019 National Elections.

The ideology of expropriation is essentially communist and director Roman Zhigalov makes this statement very clear in The Forest as well as highlighting many of the social ills currently plaguing Russia including rampant alcoholism, rape, teen pregnancy and a clearly disillusioned working class, who are constantly bullied by state officials.

The Forest tells the story of sixteen year old boy Danila who has an illicit affair with Katya a woman twice his age which leads to devastating and violent consequences both in their community and beyond.

Beautifully shot and well edited, The Forest is a stark reminder that poverty stricken rural Russia is a far cry from the tourist friendly images of Moscow and St Petersburg which frequently flashed across the international media during the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup held across Russia.

Stylistically brutal and uncompromising, The Forest is for serious viewers of Russian cinema and those that are not easily offended by rape scenes, drunken violence and nuclear families being torn apart by sexual repression and betrayal. Not for sensitive viewers.

The Forest gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is possibly one of the most depressing films I have seen all year. Clearly it was director Roman Zhigalov intention to show cinematic realism in all its horrifying detail.

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Review Calender
August 2018
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Matthew McConaughey Sells $15 Million Malibu Estate to Phil Lord
    Though the house was never publicly offered for sale, public records reveal Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves McConaughey have sold their longtime Malibu home for the princely sum of nearly $14.8 million. The deal closed in mid-July, and the spendy buyer is Oscar-winning film director-writer-animator-producer Phil Lord (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” “The Lego […]
    PMC
  • Angry Blizzard Entertainment Staffers Share Their Salaries to Protest Pay Inequities
    Disgruntled employees at games developer Blizzard Entertainment — some of whom reportedly earn only minimum wage — have shared their compensation details in an internal document, hoping to spur the company to pay workers more fairly. According to a Bloomberg report, a company employee created a spreadsheet and encouraged others to share their compensation info […]
    Todd Spangler
  • TV Ratings: ‘The Titan Games’ Stands Strong, ‘The Bachelor’ Highlight Show Returns Low
    Dwayne Johnson made headlines earlier this week for acquiring the XFL, and the good news kept on coming for the former WWE star, as his NBC show “Titan Games” was the highest-rated programming on Monday night. The athletic competition series scored a 0.7 rating among adults 19-49 and around 3.7 million total viewers. That’s pretty […]
    Will Thorne
  • Mumbai Film Festival Postponed Until 2021 Due to Coronavirus
    The 22nd edition of the Mumbai film festival has been postponed to 2021 in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis in India, the organizers announced Tuesday. The festival, run by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) and sponsored by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s telecommunications giant Jio, was originally scheduled for November. The festival will […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Resident Evil’ Producer Constantin Film Acquires ‘Perfect Addiction’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Constantin Film has acquired the rights to hit novel “Perfect Addiction,” set in the world of boxing, partnering up once again with producer Jeremy Bolt, with whom they worked on the “Resident Evil” blockbuster movie franchise, assassin action movie “Polar,” starring Mads Mikkelsen and Vanessa Hudgens, and the upcoming video-game adaption “Monster Hunter,” starring Milla […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90