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Boris Ryzhy

Documentary, 2008, 60 min.

Although the promising Russian poet Boris Ryzhy was only 26 when he hanged himself, in the Yekaterinburg cemetery he is surrounded by a considerable number of former classmates. In the year they left secondary school, perestroika began. While Ryzhy and his later widow Irina went to college, many of their peers became bodyguards of the Mafia. Death and violence cling to this generation, and Ryzhy could not get round it either. He was so good at dealing someone a right jab that his shady friends admired him for it, in the rough and impoverished Scrap Metal district to which he dedicated so many beautiful poems. In the portrait that filmmaker Aliona van der Horst made of him seven years after his demise, one of them says that Ryzhy was ashamed that he of all people was still alive. He seemed to lack a skin, Ryzhy's wife muses when she tells he started shaking whenever she was not with him. Van der Horst probes the life of this intriguing man who did not really belong anywhere. In the process, she not only reveals his own tragedy, but also that of the people around him.

won prizes

  • NL - Amsterdam International Docu Film Festival IDFA award


  • NL - Netherlands Film Festival Golden Calf (2)

other prizes

  • NL - NFF Dutch Film Critics Award




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