RFF7 Chronicle: Bite the Dust / Отдать концы (2013)
In Taisia Igumentseva’s Bite the Dust, a small village community is shaken by the news of the coming apocalypse. In 24 hours the comet will wipe out 90% of the earth population, and the villagers gather together at the banquet table. Equipped with litres of home-made alcohol, they lay bare their souls as if there’s no tomorrow.
Igumentseva has already asserted herself on the international film festival scene with her bold short film titled The Road To / Дорога на (the title clearly refers to a popular Russian swearing). Bite the Dust as Igumentseva’s debut feature film is an unexpectedly more mature directorial effort and and impressive jump forward in her career as a filmmaker.
Bite the Dust is an imaginative dramedy, masterfully juggling the apocalyptic visions with sitcom elements and slapstick gags, and revolving around the microcosm of Russian national character. The actors’ performances blend very well in this bizarre and fantastic narrative, and even the cow named Candy seems to get the overall mood of the film and becomes its fully fledged character. Authenticity of the set pieces and the brilliance of art direction overall deserve a special word of praise here.
With Bite the Dust Igumensteva undoubtedly became a visible presence within new Russian cinema and the chance of seeing her new works in the near future is very heart-warming.