"Leave of Absence" at Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival, one of the most important festivals of independent cinema in the United States, and in recent years around the world, has announced the short film program. Among the huge number of submissions (10,397), 74 films from 27 countries were selected into the official program.

For the first time in a while the Russian film "Leave of Absence" by Anton Sazonov takes part in the competition. It was previously awarded the Best Director at Locarno Film Festival. Aesthetics of alienation, images of existential emptiness in the film reveal the current situation of militaristic sublimation and the crisis of masculinity.

Anton Sazonov: "The crisis of masculinity is a phenomenon that is felt today all over the world. In Russia, in particular, it leads to a sharp decrease in men’s life expectancy, a constant feeling of dissatisfaction and rejection. The realization is impossible, the space around seems to push a person out of himself. My story is about this disappearance. Thereby there is another topic, a military one, especially urgent for our country. The confrontation flows in several directions — close (post-Soviet territory, like Ukraine) and far (Syria). For me, the war is equal to the suicide. But for many others it’s just a way out of problems both external and internal. First of all, this short film for me is an attempt to tell about nowadays Russian society and its atmosphere which tends to become more and more aggravated every year. And it’s getting harder to ignore it."