5 Films of the Day: October 21

Here is the first day of the XXXII Message to Man Film Festival in St. Petersburg. Every day our website will recommend five films from its competition and out-of-competition programmes.

The Tale of King Crab

 Legendary wandering drunkard and rebel Luciano challenges the prince of the region. His actions accidentally result in a horrible misdeed that destroys him. Now an unfortunate criminal, Luciano is exiled to the distant Tierra del Fuego where he searches for a mythical treasure, paving his way back home.

The debut full-length fiction by Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis. Won the FIPRESCI Prize at Viennale; “Silver Alexander” prize at Thessaloniki IFF; three prizes at Santiago IFF and other awards. 

Waters of Pastaza

Portuguese director Inês T. Alves observes the free life of the children of the indigenous Achuar community in the Amazon, who live in the rainforest along the border between Peru and Ecuador. Cutting a path for themselves through the wilds of the jungle with the help of a machete, harvesting the very sweetest fruit, catching an enormous fish — there is always something for them to do on the banks of the Pastaza River. And the smartphones in their hands can hardly compete with the world around them. 

The film won two prizes at IndieLisboa; Best Experiment in Film — Teen Jury Award, Kaliningrad IFF; and a Special Mention, “L’Europe autour de l’Europe” IFF.

Red Africa

 After gaining independence, the young African nations are greeted by an unexpected and enigmatic friend from a far-off continent. Soviet ambassadors offer assistance in technical, social and cultural development under the banner of a new ideology of equality and fraternity.

The film by Alexander Markov offers a detailed tour into the history of relations between the USSR and African countries, covering a wide period of time.


The British director watched a black and white cow named Luma for more than four years. Of course, Luma lives on a small farm, where they try to take care of the animals to the best of their understanding. However, the ending of the story takes an unexpected turn. 

“This film is an endeavour to consider cows. To move us closer to them. To see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives. Not in a romantic way but in a real way. It’s a film about one dairy cow’s reality and acknowledging her great service to us. When I look at Luma, our cow, I see the whole world in her,” explains Andrea Arnold.

Documentalists try to offer the audience view of the cruel world from the animal’s perspective, not devoid of their own sympathy for the main character. With the same optics, Russian director Viktor Kossakovsky watched the life on a farm and a pig named Gunda. 

Grand Marin

To avoid going crazy and drowning in the routine of a small town, the female protagonist escapes to the ocean. She believes that something good can happen there. The sea becomes Lily’s friend, but she will face the choice: either to stay with the person who was able to accept her changes, or with the sea, which brought these changes on its waves.

Directorial debut of actress Dinara Drukarova (Compartment No. 6, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, Of Freaks and Men), in which she played the main role. Grand Marin is brought to St. Petersburg after its September screening in at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.

October 21, Friday Schedule:

Dom Kino, Big Hall, 12, Karavannaya street

New Voices 1

15:00 – The Tale of King Crab, dir. Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis, Italy, 2021, 106 min.

Opening film 1

Superreal Cinema 1

18:30 – Grand Marin, dir. Dinara Drukarova, France, Iceland, Belgium, Russia, 2022, 84 min.

Q&A with director Dinara Drukarova

Panorama.doc 1

20:50 – Waters of Pastaza, dir. Inês T. Alves, Portugal, 2022, 61 min.

 Dom Kino, Blue Hall, 12, Karavannaya street

Panorama.doc 2

17:45 – Cow, dir. Andrea Arnold, UK, 2021, 94 min.

National Competition 1

20:10 – Lost Island, dir. Svetlana Rodina, Laurent Stoop, Switzerland, 2021, 92 min.

Rodina, Big Hall, 12, Karavannaya street

New Voices 2

21:00 – Super Natural, dir. Jorge Jácome, Portugal, 2022, 85 min.

Avrora, Small Hall, 60, Nevsky pr.

Red Africa 1

21:00 – Red Africa, dir. Alexander Markov, Russia, Portugal, 2022, 65 min.