Director: Kira Muratova
Cast: Sergey Makovetskiy, Leonid Kushnir, Zhan Daniel
Russia, Ukraine, 1997, 105’, color
Russian with Turkish subtitles
Three Stories was Muratova's most successful release since The Asthenic Syndrome, and also her most controversial. It consists of three short films linked by the common theme of murder. Their titles, "Heating Basement No. 6," "Ofelia," and "Death and the Maiden," are tongue-in-cheek references to high-culture classics and signal Muratova's challenges both to Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and to the didactic traditions of Russian literature and film. She gives us four cold-blooded murders: a throat-slitting, a strangulation, a drowning, and a poisoning, aestheticizing the violence to remind the audience this is cinema. Muratova reserves moral judgment, telling her stories in the mode of black comedy, but Russian film critics were bewildered by Muratova's distanced authorial stance. The film's unpunished crimes may be the revenge of a filmmaker who, throughout her career, was censored and censured for far less grievous offenses. - Jane Taubman.
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