The Long Farewell

1971, Kira Muratova, USSR

Director: Kira Muratova
Production: Odessa Kinostudio
Screenplay: Kira Muratova, Natalya Ryazantseva
Photography: Ghenady Kariuk
Editor: Valentina Oleinik
Music: Oleg Karavaichuk
Zenaida Sharko (Yevgenia)
Oleg Vladimirski (Her Son)
Yuri Kayourov
Svetlana Kabanova
Tatiana Tetchko
Lydia Vasilevska

Rating: PG coarse language & sexual references Runtime: 97 minutes

Yevgenia and her teenage son Sasha live in a one-room apartment in Odessa, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union. Following a summer with his father and his burgeoning desire for teenage independence, Sasha plans to cut the apron strings and move to Novosibirsk, thousands of kilometres away in Russia to live with his father.

The Long Farewell is an intimate study in character. The film is a carefully crafted meditation on relationships, particularly that of Yevgenia and Sasha, and all the contrasts contained within it – mother and son, coming of age (Sasha) and being left to age alone (Yevgenia), and the contemporary gender norms in the Soviet Union.

The political and social contexts of the former Soviet Union loom large over Muratova’s films. Made in 1971, The Long Farewell was immediately shelved as soon as it was finished. Soviet censors objected to Muratova’s distinctive, poetic style that eschews simplistic interpretation, as well as a perceived anti-proletariat theme and failure to replicate the social realism style favoured by the Soviet regime.

“Muratova’s style is elegant but bold, using unusual, artful framing and editing techniques as well as playing with the idea of repetition … [She] uses devices such as pushing characters right to the edge of frame and often obscuring our view of them to emphasise the distance between our protagonists and their awkward relationships.” – David Brook, BluePrint Review


Nov 25 2024


6:15 pm - 7:55 pm