First Snow: Representing links amongst generations of women

First Snow
(Photos: Royal Film Commission)
First Snow, Nathalia Konchalovsky’s — daughter of the renowned director Andrei Konchalovsky — debut feature film tells the intimate story of several generations of women. While they each lead different lives, all are equally searching for the freedom they lack. The film stars Yuliya Shulyeva, Elena Morozova, Marina Manych, Margarita Abroskina, and Anna Peresild.اضافة اعلان

The plot revolves around MGIMO University graduate Kristina, who faints at her graduation. In the next shot, she is reluctantly doing an internship at a consulting firm led by Oksana, a sharp-tongued workaholic who takes no vacations.

Kristina lives with her mother Marina, a realtor who, in her free time, writes tabloid love stories with herself as the lead. Kristina is the victim of her mother’s persistent requests for her to marry. Oksana, on the other hand, lives with her husband and 10-year-old adopted daughter, Alice, a young blogger with an online channel about the life of hamsters.

Everyone is monstrously unhappy despite their prosperous lives and, in an instant, find themselves at a crossroads where they must choose to either continue enduring their current circumstances, or try to overcome them.

This chamber drama by Konchalovsky is a female movie in every sense, without any disparaging connotations. Female characters are central to this story, including those working behind the scenes: with nearly an all-female group of writers, artists, and producers with a woman cameraperson, composer, and director.
It is an intricate tale with a simple message: do not waste life waiting.
Hence, there is a subtle focus on the characters’ interior lives, with barely perceptible mood shifts. There is no intense conflict on screen, rather fragile situations that teeter close to disaster. Kristina is in a co-dependent, unhealthy relationship with an overprotective, unsettled mother. Simultaneously, little Alice has other, but equally fragile, ties with her mother Marina. All of them are on the verge of a catastrophic rebellion but at the same time love reigns in both families, which softens their hearts.

A few secondary male characters are used to support the plot. Marina’s husband Misha and Kristina’s young neighbor Pavel keep their personal dreams in the depths of their souls. While one is afraid that it’s too late to pursue his ambitions, the other is sure that it’s too early.

But in the end, it turns out that the time to act is now.

When the characters reach self-actualization, and realize that they should live life instead of dwell on dreams, First Snow ends. The audience are left to contemplate larger issues of their own freedom: dealing with the remnants of the past, the prejudices of the present, and the irreparable catastrophes of the future.

Konchalovsky’s feature film is deeply personal as it intertwines the lives of vastly different people to make strangers acquaintances. It is an intricate tale with a simple message: do not waste life waiting.

The film will be screened today, Tuesday, as part of the Russian Film Days, an event organized by the Royal Film Commission (RFC) in cooperation with the Russian Film Festival. First Snow will be screened at the RFC’s outdoor amphitheater.

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