What is the meaning of the dramatic film “Gerda”

Film critics briefly defined the semantic format of this project, filmed in the genre of “direct cinema” – “a hymn to the era of total uncertainty.” This is the time in which many modern Russians live, especially in the outback. In one of these realistic-fantasy places, where life seems to be frozen and goes by habit, the action in the film “Gerda” unfolds. The story is partly based on the experience of loved ones and the director and screenwriter Natalya Kudryashova’s own biography.

What is the meaning of the picture? The viewer should not look for a specific answer to this question. Because the authors of the film implemented it as an illustration of the modern realities of life – without a moralistic bias or a hint of social drama. A sort of “fairy tale for adults”, but not about Gerda from the Snow Queen. Everything is much more prosaic, with a demonstration of the dark sides of life and unsightly pictures of everyday life. It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation allocated funds for the production of this purely black drama.

Gloomy landscapes of the periphery, gloomy and dejected townsfolk, in the very first frames – the murmur of urine in a pine forest, an incredible amount of “nudity” and the visualization of “theme C” – all these are attributes of the “darkness”, so popular among the figures of “corporate” cinema. Those who simultaneously act as directors and screenwriters attract non-professionals to the roles of key characters and loudly announce the autobiographical nature of the plot. The film “Gerda” in 2021 replenished the line of this kind of film projects, which includes “Volchok” by V. Sigarev, “Baby” by L. Lanskikh, “Chiki” by E. Oganesyan.

So, briefly about the picture, in which Anastasia Krasovskaya played the main role. A 22-year-old law student from Minsk decided to start earning money in films in parallel with modeling. It is noteworthy that her mother sent her to the casting, convincingly advising her daughter (outwardly similar to Joe from Nymphomaniac and not having professional artistic skills) to star in this hyper-realistic trash.

Gerda is the stage name of a girl who earns money in a strip club, demonstrating the mastery of pole dance and the art of private dancing. Lera (as her parents called her) is in a hurry to spend part of the money she has earned in the Verny store closest to the house. Having bought food and medicine, she goes to a dull five-story building, where she lives alone with her mother. Sometimes a permanently drunk father comes to them. After serving in the police station, he comes to his former relatives to ruffle their nerves and himself. The man left for another family, but doubts his act. After the divorce, Lera’s mother fell into a deep depression: she either sleeps or wanders around the apartment in the “astral plane”. The gloomy everyday life of the main character is trying to brighten up a friend. Oleg works in the morgue and paints pictures in his free time. The guy selflessly commits acts characteristic of lovers, but the girl perceives this indifferently.

Lera saves money from her extra money for education: she is a student of the Faculty of Sociology. For term paper, you need to conduct surveys of the population on current topics. Therefore, during the day, the girl walks around the apartments and, with a wooden voice from constant lack of sleep, asks questions: “do you agree that the country is moving in the right direction”; “do you think the president is an outwardly attractive man”; “do you have enough money”; “Are you a happy person?” Encountering bewilderment on the part of the respondents and receiving very inadequate answers, the future sociologist prefers to fill out questionnaires herself – “yes, no, her own version.”

The hopelessness and worthlessness of such a life Lera-Gerda perceives apathetically. There is not a single hint of internal rebellion or of finding ways to break free from routine. Escapism in the dreams of a girl does not give much either. Nothing happens in them – neither bad nor good, only peace and wandering in the fog. In her visions, she imagines the world in which she lives as a dark and tangled thicket, from which she can escape if she gains wings. At the same time, in reality, she is afraid to leave the “habitat zone”. Everything is clear here: the usual life, the opportunity to get a profession, a friend in love. And also – the bright gloss of a nightclub, superiority over competitors in the pylon, Irish whiskey instead of homemade moonshine. The girl is not afraid of the nightmare in which she lives. The labyrinths of sleep do not scare either. She was born and raised in this space. And outside of it does not represent itself. Therefore, day after day he performs the same ritual: during the day – stupid polls, household chores, talking with a friend, at night – dirty dancing for the sake of earning money.

“Gerda” is a labyrinth film that tells a blurry and uneven story about a girl who is very narrow-minded and follows the path of life’s not the highest resistance. It represents some kind of vicious circles of Samsara of semi-fantastic reality in a through action. For two hours, the viewer is kept in front of the screen by the main intrigue: understanding the situation from the category of “what is actually happening here”. The bottom line is that the project was made with one goal: to perceive what he saw on a sensual level. Gerda is not a drama about self-discovery and family problems, and not even a social commentary. Just Russian bullshit. The dark, dirty and evil art of the “full meter”, which has been given the status of “independent” cinema by the film industry.

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