Cinema Rediscovered: The Long Farewell
Cinema Rediscovered presents The Long Farewell (1971), Kira Muratova's tale of a mother and son drifting apart.
A radical, elliptical tale of a mother-and-son drifting apart, Kira Muratova’s underseen classic is a refreshingly challenging cinematic work. Restored in 4K.
Evgenia (Zinaida Sharko) and Sasha (Oleg Vladimirsky) have a close relationship, but adolescence – as ever – spells dark clouds on the horizon. After a visit to his father’s, Sasha becomes increasingly taciturn, looking to break away from the overprotection of his mother. But this is no generic coming-of-age tale. Muratova’s kinetic editing and oblique framing creates a film in which the standard push-pull of dramatic tension is diverted elsewhere, providing us with a sharp-edged, biting look at a parental relationship drifting apart.
Muratova’s fragmented, personal, and elliptical style meant that many of her films had limited releases, if at all, in the Soviet Union or beyond in her time. The Long Farewell suffered from such a fate – ready in 1971 but shelved until 1987, when the era of Perestroika allowed her work to finally claim some oxygen.