Director of short film SUICIDE NOTE
After ten years running a contemporary art gallery in Moscow with an emphasis on video art, I moved to the UK where my passion turned to making my own films. My first film, ‘Private Waltz’, won several film awards. ‘Suicide Note’ is my second film.
The initial inspiration for SUICIDE NOTE came about a few years ago through a visit with my daughter to the Museum of Anthropology and Enthnography in St. Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great. It famously contains a ‘cabinet of curiosities’, humans and animals with abnormal medical conditions preserved in jars for all to see. Peter wanted a permanent public display so that the world could confront these ‘monsters’ in a compassionate and scientific way instead of falling back on superstition. They are also carefully arranged to show the fragility and fleeting nature of life.
The conversation that ensued with my daughter covered the subjects of what it means to be ‘normal’, our relationship to the outsider and the notion of mortality about which she exhibited curiosity and fear in equal measure. Victoria asked whether the technology exists now to live indefinitely but was just as intrigued to know what the afterlife might be like; whether it would be possible to fly, walk through walls, visit the moon. In her dual attitude, I was reminded of my own musings as a child about the potentially liberating experience of escaping the constraints of my family, the USSR, homework, my own habits and the excitement of encountering the forbidden outsider.
SUICIDE NOTE isn’t a film about ending one’s own physical existence – it’s a meditation on the courage required to confront our assumptions about who we are and by extension those we perceive as outsiders.