- In Retrospect
Asthenic syndrome is a type of hypochondria mixed with melancholy. It is a terrible state in which Nikolai, played by Sergei Popov who also worked on the screenplay, suffers from. The teacher does not care about anything at all, and this attitude is also applied to his students. But it seems he does not have the syndrome alone. More and more, it looks as if the entire society is “sick”. Kira Muratova, now 83 years old, was considered the most important director of the country during the Soviet era. She herself said about The Asthenic Syndrome that the film is a portrait of the state of humanity. In the Soviet Union, it was more likely to be seen – and rightly so – as a strong criticism of the state of an ossified, lifeless and uninspired society that is no longer evolving. The famous film from 1989 is considered the “last forbidden” film of the USSR. For the Berlinale in 1990, where the film won a Silver Bear, it had to be smuggled out of the country, since in its homeland it was initially not allowed to be shown, and then after only in small film clubs with an “explanatory introduction”. At the same time it was artistically highly regarded and was awarded Best Film at the National Film Awards ceremony in 1991. A true classic.
Aleksandr Chernykh, Kira Muratova, Sergei Popov
Olga Antonova, Sergei Popov, Galina Zakhurdaeva
Lifetime Achievement Award, Retrospektive 100 Years
Russian with Engl. sub.
Ukrainian State Film Agency / Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre