Durakovo: Village of Fools

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Orthodox Russian nationalism percolates in a castle outside Moscow, where a portly businessman-turned-guru named Mikhail Morozov presides over Durakovo, a rural hamlet known as the "village of fools." Here Morozov is absolute ruler, overseeing a small band of young initiates who flock to the village from all over Russia to free themselves of the shackles of democracy.

Durakovo has a grand mission--to save the nation from poisonous Western influences. Some of Morozov's subjects come to him unwillingly, forced by parents fed up with their stints of rebellion. When they join the village of fools, the new residents abandon all their former rights and agree to obey their leader's strict rules, hoping to learn subordination and enrich their spiritual lives. Three moral pillars serve as the guiding principles at Durakovo: God, tsar, and fatherland.

Filmmaker Nino Kirtadze attains unfettered access as political and religious leaders gather at the castle to meet with Morozov and dream of a glorious future where Russia is devoid of foreigners. With a keen eye for irony, Kirtadze's camera juxtaposes Morozov and his peers romping naked in the pool and sauna while the young men who serve him toil in backbreaking labor. Purposefully restrained, yet cunningly subversive, Durakovo provides a chilling glimpse of fascist ideology on the rise. --© Sundance Film Festival


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  • [Director Nino] Kirtadze means to offer a microcosm of rising nationalist zealotry in Russia, but leaves too many informational and analytical gaps to satisfy.

    Jan 30, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic

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