For twelve years, war photographer Oleg Klimov documented the disintegration of the Soviet Union. He was present at almost all conflicts and ethnic tensions in the 90s. His photographs appeared on the front pages of many Western newspapers as silent witnesses of the war in the former Soviet Union. Oleg's career as a photographer has also had a personal effect on him. After all those years, he unexpectedly faces a war trauma. Longing for inner peace Oleg returns to some of the areas where he has photographed during wartime: Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and Chechnya. In addition to Oleg's memories other realities arise: those of the people he then photographed.
Oleg Klimov: Letters to Myself
Masha Novikova (Moskou 1956) became known with journalistic documentaries as In the Holy Fire of Revolution (2008), about the battle Gary Kasparov fought for a new Russia; Anna, seven years in the frontline (2008), about journalist Anna Politkovskaya that was killed in 2006 (Amnesty Award Planet Doc Warshaw 2008; Special Mention Prize, 44a Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema Pesaro Italy; Special Juryprize, Festival of Liberties Brussels; Audience Award de Verzio 5 Doc Film Festival, Budapest) and
Three Comrades, about three Chechen friends of which two were killed during the Chechen wars (Special Mention Prize, Planete Doc Review, Poland; GRAND PRIZE of Ismailia International Festival for documentary and Short Films, Egypt; PRIZE for best investigation documentary DocLisboa; Special Mention Prize, MARFICI (International Independent Film festival of Mar del Plata, Argentinie); Premiere: Amnesty IFF 2007– best film and cinema release in Dutch Cinemas; SEGUNDO PREMIO TIEMPO DE HISTORIA, Vallidolid, Spanie – november 2006; One World Praag 2007– selected for screening-trip at 36 international Film Festivals such as Sundance and Locarno).
Sweet Smoke of the Fatherland was nominated for Best Dutch feature Documentary at the Dutch Film Festival 2012. For more information: Novdoc.
Written & directed by: Masha Novikova
Camera: Pavel Filippov, Masha Novikova
Sound: Anatoly Turikov, Varvara Belous
Editor: Michiel Hazebroek
Music & soundmix: Jeroen Goeijers
Executive producer: Judith Vreriks
Commissioning editor: Margje de Koning, IKON
Produced by: Frank van den Engel
A co-production with IKON TV
This production was supported by the Dutch Cultural Mediafund
Masha Novikova's documentary OLEG KLIMOV: BRIEVEN AAN JEZELF is nominated voor the Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht, the Dutch Award for Best Short Documentary. According to the jury the documentary "flawlessly shows that in the conflict of the photographer the pain of today's Russia is shown". The award ceremony will be held in Utrecht, October 3rd.
Masha Novikova's latest documentary Letters to Yourself will be screened at the Yerevan International Film Festival in Armenia (July 13-20). The film is included in a special program about Armenia and the people from Armenia. The director of the film will attend the festival, and one one the characters from the documentary will be there as well.
In addition to the documentary Letters to Myself, the Dutch Museum for Photography Huis Marseille organises an exhibition with photographs by Oleg Klimov (1964). The Russian photographer Oleg Klimov depicts Russia's relationship with water, travelling to these places by sea and waterways. The photographs that were the starting point for the documentary are shown here, as well as the documentary Letters to myself.
The film Oleg Klimov: Letters to myself by Masha Novikova will be shown at 22.55 hours on the Dutch channel IKON Nederland 2. The film tells the story about war photographer Oleg Klimov, who’s dealing after twelve years with a terrible war trauma.
Cinema De Balie in Amsterdam organises a special screening of the documentary Letters to Myself by Masha Novikova on Sunday, December 8 at 15:00 hrs. The film is about war photographer Oleg Klimov. Masha Novikova and Oleg Klimov will be present this afternoon.
pictures and press
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