Friday, September 9, 2011

TIFF 2011: Director Angelina Nikonova at the "Twilight Portrait" Premiere

Writer-director Angelina Nikonova's feature debut, Twilight Portrait, is a difficult film to stomach.  The film centres on Marina, an upper-class Russian woman (played expertly by Olga Dihovichnaya who also co-wrote the script), whose world begins to unravel after she is sexually assaulted by unscrupulous cops. Soon after, she breeds contempt for her life, friends and marriage and becomes a shell of the woman that she was -- until an ill-fated night brings her to a greasy diner and face to face with one of her attackers.  She inevitably follows him home, intent on cutting his throat with a broken bottle, but things take a shocking turn after she finally confronts him and discovers that he doesn't know her.

The film is a bold and harsh examination of a broken woman.  To their credit, Nikonova and Dihovichnaya have written an original script that will undoubtedly penetrate viewers.  Nikonova's direction  skillfully pulls us into Marina's hell, but she thoughtfully spares us from her atrocity.

Twilight Portrait is a masterful achievement.

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