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FILM | Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) | “The Bottomless Bag”

May 9, 2018

As part of the 44th Annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies is sponsoring “The Bottomless Bag” – a Russian film directed by Rustam Khamdamov.

The Bottomless Bag
d. Rustam Khamdamov
Russia 2017, 104 min

Enter into a shimmering black and white fairytale world of riches in the palace of the Czar of Russia. There, a lady-in-waiting tells a metaphysical fairytale, set in the medieval 13th century and revolving around the mysterious murder of the Tsar’s son and the disappearance of the princess. But the lady-in-waiting is only one narrator, as the fable’s characters are witnesses to the crime and narrate different versions of the events. The Bottomless Bag is the Russian version of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) and is based on Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s short story, “In a Grove.” Instead of Japan, director Rustam Khamdamov sets his story of doubt in Russia in a world of forests, soldiers, thieves, and royalty. With Khamdamov, the plot is less important than the visual environment, which is meticulously full of rich fabrics, costumes, and lush landscapes—the palace scenes are shot on location in an abandoned palace on the banks of St. Petersburg’s Neva River. Winner of the Silver St. George Prize and the Russian Film Critics Award at the 2017 Moscow International Film Festival, The Bottomless  revels in a sumptuous quality that returns us to the aesthetics of the silent film era.

Sunday, June 3 | 8:30 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown
Monday, June 4 | 4:30 PM | Pacific Place Cinemas

For a list of other films from the REECAS region, see our webpage on the festival.