About the Film
What does an average citizen gain when he stubbornly faces his oppressors? Does he earn his dignity or reclaim his courage or reaffirm his faith? According to director Sergei Loznitsa and his young protagonist, personal triumph against injustice becomes a glorious assertion of noble values against tyranny and its atrocities. in A Gentle Creature, the helmer behind 2014’s Maïdan imbues Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1876 short story with a free, modernist spirit, alluding to totalitarian regimes of all kinds, in all their terrors and darkness, particularly Stalinism. Loznitsa’s is the seventh adaptation of this story, the most famous being Robert Bresson’s A Gentle Woman (1969).
However, Loznitsa’s version stands out for making the victim herself a force of silent protest; painful but provocative and dissenting all at once. The young wife is more of a live corpse. Secretive and obedient, delicate and fragile. We
never see a smile on her lips or an expression of joy across her face. When we first see her in the epic, stormy opening scene, we know that what is to follow is an intricate hell of cruelty. The letters and packages she sends to her imprisoned husband that come back unopened to her become a dramatic catalyst for a long, harsh journey where she
meets a group of downtrodden characters, soldiers of a corrupt, terrifyingly draconian regime, and she witnesses a brutal series of violations, before she herself becomes a victim, an ideological metaphor of political abuse.
Sergei Loznitsa, born in 1964, Ukraine, grew up in Kiev, and graduated from Kiev Polytechnic in 1987 with a degree in Applied Mathematics. In 1997 Loznitsa graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow. He has since directed 16 documentaries that have won multiple awards in Karlovy Vary, Leipzig, Oberhausen, Krakow, Paris, Madrid, Toronto, and St. Petersburg, as well as the Russian National Film awards “Nika” and “Laurel”. Loznitsa’s feature debut My Joy (2010) was followed by In the Fog (2012), which won the FIPRESCI prize at the Cannes Festival. His feature-length documentary Maidan (2014), dedicated to the revolution in Ukraine, also premiered at the 2017 Cannes film festival.