Orthodox Russian nationalism percolates in a castle outside Moscow, where a portly businessman-turnedguru named Mikhail Morozov presides over Durakovo, a rural hamlet known as the ‘village of fools.’ Here Morozov is absolute ruler, overseeing a small band of young initiates who flock to the village from all over Russia to free themselves of the shackles of democracy. Durakovo has a grand mission--to save the nation from poisonous Western influences. Three moral pillars serve as the guiding principles at Durakovo: God, tsar, and fatherland. Filmmaker Nino Kirtadze attains unfettered access as political and religious leaders gather at the castle to meet with Morozov and dream of a glorious future where Russia is devoid of foreigners. With a keen eye for irony, Kirtadze’s camera juxtaposes Morozov and his peers romping naked in the pool and sauna while the young men who serve him toil in backbreaking labor. Purposefully restrained, yet cunningly subversive, ‘Durakovo’ provides a chilling glimpse of fascist ideology on the rise.
European Film Academy-award-winning director Nino Kirtadze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is one of the few Georgian directors who made her cinematic debut in France and quickly established herself as one of the best documentary directors worldwide. She focuses on controversial subjects, placing the accent on the human drama and creating deep insightful human portraits. Her films have won international acclaim and numerous prestigious prizes at festivals worldwide, including Best Director Prize at Sundance for Durakovo - Village of Fools, the European Film Academy award for Pipeline Next Door, Germany’s top documentary award, the Adolf Grimme Gold, for Chechen Lullaby and the Cinema du Réel award for Tell My Friends That I’m Dead. Her films have been presented at top world festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, IDFA and RIDM. Nino Kirtadze is also a scriptwriter and actress. During the troubled years in the Caucasus in 1990s she also worked as a war correspondent for the AFP and for the AP, covering the war in Chechnya and other armed conflicts in the region. Since 1997, Nino Kirtadze has been living in France and working with Peter Brook, Ben Gazzara, Vittorio Gassman, Jean-Pierre Ameris and Claude Goretta. She works on a regular basis with different national and international organisations and film schools as a consultant, jury, lecturer and tutor.
Durakovo: le village des fous
2007, 52', color, video
Rodolphe Molla, Nino Kirtadze