says 'Rai' tackles evil done in the name of good
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[September 09, 2016]
VENICE (Reuters) - Andrei
Konchalovsky uses the Holocaust-theme in his drama "Rai"
to explore how people back then and today commit evil
acts all the while believing that what they do is right,
the veteran Russian director said at the Venice film
festival on Thursday.
"Rai" (Paradise), which follows three characters as they make
life-altering choices, is one of 20 films competing for the
coveted Golden Lion that will awarded on Saturday.
Olga, played by Julia Vysotskaya, is a Russian noblewoman and
part of the French resistance, who gets arrested by Nazis for
hiding two Jewish children and is sent to jail where she meets
French-Nazi collaborator Jules, who offers to ease her
punishment in exchange for sex.
Olga is eventually sent to a concentration camp where she meets
her old flame Helmut, now a high-ranking SS officer.
"I didn't want to make a film about the holocaust. I basically
wanted to speak of evil," Konchalovsky told a news conference
ahead of the movie's premiere.
"Evil is born every day in every age. And most people do evil
when in fact they are doing good."
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The black and white movie's main storyline is framed around scenes
in which each of the main characters addresses the camera face-on as
if being interrogated.
Konchalovsky uses the close-ups to create the idea of a confession,
while the actors' speaking in their native tongues, be it Russian,
German or French, helps him add authenticity.
"My intention was that you could feel the horror that mankind and
the individual feels or doesn't feel because we are always convinced
that we are right," the 79-year-old said.
"The bombing in Libya, the bombing in Iraq ... all these evil acts
were considered to be honorable because they were defending human
rights, democracy, freedom," he said.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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