Filmmaker Aljona Surzikova unflinchingly turns the camera upon herself and her family to capture the excitement and mayhem of the arrival of a new baby, whose kitten-like mewling is welcomed by all. When events take an unexpected turn, the viewer is irrevocably drawn into the turmoil.
Interview with Writer/Director Aljona Surzhikova
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I would never want to film or to be a part of such a documentary, but sometimes life itself is changing the way we consider ourselves and the life of our relatives by bringing obstacles. Being a documentary filmmaker for 15 years and becoming a part of a dramatic and unique situation you just know that you should film it. In a modern western society still, there are some taboos related to medicine and health care and not so many ordinary people are open to talk about those problems.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This is the way to enjoy life itself. By going through this complicated journey the representatives of the audience are reminded to enjoy life.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This is a very personal film, but it seems to be very universal because that could happen with any family and any ordinary person. In the same time, it is a unique story, but it is very usual in the same time. We used to think that this kind of troubles happened in the 19th centuries, but this is a reality of 21th's European Union country.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
This film was never planned to be filmed. It happened to be filmed by the unique unusual situation and life was the main scriptwriter. So this is a part of my life, where I am not playing any role, but where I am just fixing the reality.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
This is an extremely touching film. All the people who saw it were crying and thanking me for this experience. It is very hard to watch it, but at the same time, it is a very strong feeling and emotions you get when you watch it. Life will never be the same as before this film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
No, this is was a reason why I did this film. To help people feel happy and to show that there are really few moments in our life when we can be weak. Most people are very positive. I got one comment from one old filmmaker who said that it is a taboo film and I filmed two most taboo topics in the same film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I want to bring attention to this topic.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I hope people will be having more children at the right time and people will realise how happy they are. When I had doubts do I need to do this film or not, my older son said: "If you will not do it, nobody will do it. You are strong and you can do it. If you take my phone and don't let me play games I think I have trouble, but if I see this film and I will understand what is trouble. I will understand that I am very happy." My son was 10 when he said this.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
We always are not happy with our position, city, country, salary and so on. People are nor happy very often. Why? This film is not about death, it is about life. It is about how beautiful life is. Just see it.
Would you like to add anything else?
I guess my film can be therapy for people in similar situations. I fill sometimes like a priest, people started to share their stories with me. Many people had these situations, but they never talked about this, even with friends and family they didn't share this story.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am doing a film called Soviet Facebook, about my classmates who are living everywhere around the world. In the 90s we have friend's books on paper and we asked different questions, what is love, friendship and who is your best music player. Now we find these people via Facebook in Cambodia, Russia, Germany and Estonia. One of my classmates is a bodyguard of the Estonian President, another is playing casino in Cambodia, and a third one is a business woman in Moscow. We are all from the same school and the same district.
Interview: April 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Waiting for a miracle
Life is miracle.
Director: Aljona Surzhikova
Producer: Ülo Pikkov
Writer: Aljona Surzhikova
About the writer, director and producer:
ALJONA SURZHIKOVA is a director of short documentaries and documentary features and TV broadcasts. Education - Tallinn University, television direction, BA in film and video, Saint Petersburg State University for Film Industry and Television, director of documentaries, MA.
ÜLO PIKKOV (1976) is an internationally renowned filmmaker, producer and film scholar. Pikkov studied animation at the Turku Arts Academy in Finland and since 1996 has directed several award-winning animation films (Empty Space, Tik-Tak, Body Memory, The End, Dialogos). He has published articles on film and written fiction books for children and adults. In 2005 he graduated from the Institute of Law in University of Tartu, focusing on the media and author’s rights. Pikkov is the author of Animasophy, Theoretical Writings on the Animated Film (2011). For ten years Pikkov was the associate professor of the Animation Department in the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Key cast: Aljona Surzhikova, Sergei Trofimov
Looking for: sales agents, distributors, journalists, film festival directors, buyers
Hashtags used: karumuseum, karumuuseum
Made in association with: Silmviburlane LTD