Film, Small stage
The Bottomless Sack
Directed and scripted by Rustam Khamdamov
Assistant directed by Natalya Lyashchenko
Cinematography by Pyotr Dukhovskoi and Timofei Lobov
Produced by Rustam Khamdamov, Lyubov Obmenyanaya and Tikhon Pendyurin
Cast: Svetlana Nemolyayeva, Alla Demidova, Sergei Koltakov, Yelena Morozova, Kirill Pletnyov, Andrei Kuzychev, Anna Mikhalkova, Yevgeny Tkachuk, Anastasia Tsoi, Felix Antipov.
The Bottomless Sack is based on Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's novella "In the Grove"
The Bottomless Sack is based on Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's novella "In the Grove," but is set in the times of Russian emperor Alexander II. The maid of honor of the prince's palace tells the prince a fairy tale about the mystical murder of a prince in the forest.
Participants in the event and witnesses of the crime tell different versions of the incident, all of which differ from what really happened.
Also participating in the shoot were: cinematographers Sergei Mokritsky and Shandor Berkeshi, and photographers Georgy Pinkhasov and Sergei Tabunov.
Svetlana Nemolyayeva, lead actress in the film: "My work is what it is thanks to Rustam, because of how he worked, how he saw me, what he suggested and how he achieved the result. I've never done anything like this before, although I have worked with an enormous number of directors in my almost 100 year-old life. The journey that I took with Rustam was significant. This is a new way of looking at a lot of things, primarily, of at Khamdamov. I never once saw him fail personally to set the stage, or to direct or reset the lighting. He has tremendous endurance in the creative process. He is an amazing talent, his creative fire burns bright."
The heroine reads fairy tale No. 295 from The Arabian Nights, "About the Bottomless Sack," hence the title of the film.
Rustam Khamdamov (Tashkent, 1944) is a Russian film director, screenwriter, and artist. He graduated from Sergei Gerasimov's workshop in the the directing department of VGIK in 1969. He is a laureate of the Triumph award (1996), and the Cultural Heritage of the Nation Grand Prix. His work was added to the modern collection of the Hermitage Museum in 2003. Khamdamov's paintings are in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery, the National Gallery of Ravenna (Italy), and in private collections. He is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
His films include:
- My Heart is in the Mountains (1967)
- Anna Karamazoff (1991) (Cannes Film Festival)
- Vocal Parallels (2006) (Venetian Film Festival)
- Diamonds. Theft (2010) (Venetian Film Festival)
- The Bottomless Sack (2017) (MIFF)