Hermitage Dwellers
Hermitage Dwellers


Director: Aliona van der Horst
60 min., 2008, rus.


2010, 17 april, Saint-Petersburg


The Russian poet Boris Ryzhy was handsome, gifted and achieved already considerable literary fame. So why did he take his own life at the age of 26? A quest to find the answer takes the filmmaker to the criminal neighbourhood in the cold industrial city of Yekaterinenburg where Boris grew up. Through conversations with neighbours, family and friends, she pieces together a picture of the passionate and complex life of the poet. What emerges is a penetrating portrait of the perestroika generation, who lost all certainties, becoming a generation of criminals and bodyguards. But despite all, Ryzhy loved this unhappy world, populated half by prisoners and half by their guards. He tried to transform its ugliness into the philosopher’s gold of poetic prosody.


About the film:

Borys Ryzhy has been screened a.o. at festivals in the UK, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Ecuador, Cyprus, Mexico, Australia, Greece, Russia and The Netherlands. The film received the Silver Wolf Award at the worlds’ largest documentary film festival IDFA 2008.


Алена ван дер Хорст

About the director:

The Dutch director Aliona van der Horst was born in 1970 in Moscow, Russia. She studied Russian literature at the University of Amsterdam and film at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. She began her career in 1997 with the much acclaimed "The lady with the white hat" and since then has received multiple awards for most of her films, amongst them the special jury prize at the Tribeca film festival for "Voices of Bam", and the Grand Prix of the FIFA for "the Hermitage Dwellers". Recently she has recieved the Jan Kassies prize, awarded by the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund, for outstanding achievement.




Website Boris Ryzhy:
Andrej Kramarenko sings a poem of Boris Ryzhy:
Biography of Boris Ryzhy:


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Hermitage Dwellers


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