Innermost Man – Communist Against Communism

REVIEW
by Mikhail Nikulin
20.12.2020
Pre-premiere screening of Innermost Man (2020) was held in an old-fashioned assembly hall of the CHA. A thin nervous man with sad eyes, who appeared to be Roma Liberov, the director of the movie, apologized to the audience for the sound equipment. He worried that its poor quality might ruin the atmosphere of the film about a soviet writer Andrei Platonov. Nevertheless, the authentic interior suited this author's tragic biopic perfectly.
Filmography of Liberov includes animated pictures about life and death of soviet writers and poets based on their books, letters and diaries. His full-length movies catch the audience with stilistic combinations of traditional animation, stop-motion and live-action. Starting from satirist writers' biographies like Sergei Dovlatov, Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Roma continued with pictures about the life of dissidents. The first one was Keep My Words Forever (2015) about Osip Mandelstam, and the second one is Innermost Man. Ill-fated Platonov struggled his entire life trying to protect himself and family, but to no avail. However, the infinite fight resulted in intimate and soulful works.

Andrei Platonovich Klimentov (the real name of Platonov) was born on the eve of the 20th century. He witnessed the primary events in modern Russian history from the First Russian Revolution to the Great Patriotic War and managed to remain a true communist. Inspired by The October Revolution and marxism theory, he rose from an assistant machinist to an editor at the paper of the local railway workers' union and admitted to the Communist Party as a candidate member. But the reality of implementing communism in Soviet government soon disappointed him. That led to conflicts with the Bolsheviks party and Platonov's suspension from the structure.
Andrei Platonov grieved the injustice of the soviet policy to opposition during the Civil War and to peasantry during the Collectivization. His most famous novels like «The Foundation Pit» (1969) or «Chevengur» (1972) and illustrated the horror of the radical changes in the lives of millions of soviet citizens. Platonov`s dissent and criticism did not pass by the Party, and the writer became one of the goals of repressions. The most cruel act of repression became the arrest of Andrei's only son Platon and his exile to the GULAG. Parents fought for their son's liberation for years and succeeded in it, but it was too late. Platon got terminally ill and died soon; Andrei contracted the disease and also died three years after his first-born.


Innermost Man was screened the way that completely matched the hard life of Andrei Platonov and his author's style. Interweaving of events of three Russian revolutions, the Civil war, and the Collectivization seems barely realistic nowadays, so the movie also makes an impression of a surrealistic picture. Conglomeration of unrelated scenes that are completed in miscellaneous styles, as well as Platonov's tongue-tied works, confuse us. In the film Liberov used either tracks by pank-rock band Grazhdanskaya oborona or folk songs recorded specially for the picture in a psychedelic way.

Probably the most memorable part of Innermost Man is the panels by Masha Plotnikova that illustrate the days of creation of a communist Edem. Heaven on earth remained an utopia, but the majesty of its ideas were successfully interpreted by Plotnikova. The silhouettes of stages of communism creation amaze us with their scale. Harsh era of the Soviet state formation was never transmitted to the audience better than by these pieces stylized to ancient egyptian paintings.

The questionable part of Innermost Man is its tempo. The picture is actually really slow due to its plot and style. It's really hard to fall asleep during the film, so you will be motivated to watch it till the end. Considering the fact that Platonov is not a popular writer, the picture might be interesting for a narrow group of the novelist fans, or Liberov's fans. Nonetheless, Roma wasn't cunning when telling us that he is making movies for himself and about the themes that he is personally interested in.
To sum up, Innermost Man is an unforgettable experience for an ordinary viewer. To get maximum from the film you better get acquainted with Platonov's works and his fate. Anyway, Roma Liberov creates unique pictures about soviet authors whо are being forgotten now. So cinephiles will find a lot of curious and peculiar aspects in this movie.
 
Innermost Man – Communist Against Communism

REVIEW
by Mikhail Nikulin
20.12.2020
Pre-premiere screening of Innermost Man (2020) was held in an old-fashioned assembly hall of the CHA. A thin nervous man with sad eyes, who appeared to be Roma Liberov, the director of the movie, apologized to the audience for the sound equipment. He worried that its poor quality might ruin the atmosphere of the film about a soviet writer Andrei Platonov. Nevertheless, the authentic interior suited this author's tragic biopic perfectly.
Filmography of Liberov includes animated pictures about life and death of soviet writers and poets based on their books, letters and diaries. His full-length movies catch the audience with stilistic combinations of traditional animation, stop-motion and live-action. Starting from satirist writers' biographies like Sergei Dovlatov, Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Roma continued with pictures about the life of dissidents. The first one was Keep My Words Forever (2015) about Osip Mandelstam, and the second one is Innermost Man. Ill-fated Platonov struggled his entire life trying to protect himself and family, but to no avail. However, the infinite fight resulted in intimate and soulful works.

Andrei Platonovich Klimentov (the real name of Platonov) was born on the eve of the 20th century. He witnessed the primary events in modern Russian history from the First Russian Revolution to the Great Patriotic War and managed to remain a true communist. Inspired by The October Revolution and marxism theory, he rose from an assistant machinist to an editor at the paper of the local railway workers' union and admitted to the Communist Party as a candidate member. But the reality of implementing communism in Soviet government soon disappointed him. That led to conflicts with the Bolsheviks party and Platonov's suspension from the structure.

Andrei Platonov grieved the injustice of the soviet policy to opposition during the Civil War and to peasantry during the Collectivization. His most famous novels like «The Foundation Pit» (1969) or «Chevengur» (1972) and illustrated the horror of the radical changes in the lives of millions of soviet citizens. Platonov`s dissent and criticism did not pass by the Party, and the writer became one of the goals of repressions. The most cruel act of repression became the arrest of Andrei's only son Platon and his exile to the GULAG. Parents fought for their son's liberation for years and succeeded in it, but it was too late. Platon got terminally ill and died soon; Andrei contracted the disease and also died three years after his first-born.
Innermost Man was screened the way that completely matched the hard life of Andrei Platonov and his author's style. Interweaving of events of three Russian revolutions, the Civil war, and the Collectivization seems barely realistic nowadays, so the movie also makes an impression of a surrealistic picture. Conglomeration of unrelated scenes that are completed in miscellaneous styles, as well as Platonov's tongue-tied works, confuse us. In the film Liberov used either tracks by pank-rock band Grazhdanskaya oborona or folk songs recorded specially for the picture in a psychedelic way.

Probably the most memorable part of Innermost Man is the panels by Masha Plotnikova that illustrate the days of creation of a communist Edem. Heaven on earth remained an utopia, but the majesty of its ideas were successfully interpreted by Plotnikova. The silhouettes of stages of communism creation amaze us with their scale. Harsh era of the Soviet state formation was never transmitted to the audience better than by these pieces stylized to ancient egyptian paintings.

The questionable part ofInnermost Man is its tempo. The picture is actually really slow due to its plot and style. It's really hard to fall asleep during the film, so you will be motivated to watch it till the end. Considering the fact that Platonov is not a popular writer, the picture might be interesting for a narrow group of the novelist fans, or Liberov's fans. Nonetheless, Roma wasn't cunning when telling us that he is making movies for himself and about the themes that he is personally interested in.
To sum up, Innermost Man is an unforgettable experience for an ordinary viewer. To get maximum from the film you better get acquainted with Platonov's works and his fate. Anyway, Roma Liberov creates unique pictures about soviet authors whо are being forgotten now. So cinephiles will find a lot of curious and peculiar aspects in this movie.
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