Stepping into the twilight zone

Twilight Portrait – a Russian drama about the conundrum of psychological and sexual relations between a rape victim and her abuser, has had its world premiere at the venerable Venice Film Festival, on the Lido.

­The film, from New York-based Russian-born director Angelina Nikonova, received very positive feedback from film critics and the public.

Twilight Portrait revolves around the controversial, ambiguous relations between a married, well-to-do young female social worker, and a policeman who was probably  – although the story never makes it 100 per cent clear – among a group of officers who raped her.

The drama, starring Ivan Dykhovichny’s widow, the charismatic actress Olga Dykhovichnaya, who also co-wrote the script, is narrated in a brutal, hardcore style more readily identified with male, than female, writers. The film’s director, however, disagrees.

“Such division [into categories] that presumes that women should make ‘women’s films,’ strongly discriminates against female filmmakers, and it was a drag on my work for many years,“ Nikonova told Itar-Tass news agency.

She added that what really matters is that “cinema should be good.”

After the success in Venice, the Russian movie will head to one of the leading and most important film events on the calendar, the Toronto International Film Festival.

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