Insight talks to Ruslan Magomadov about Home

Posted on by Becky Padley

Ruslan Magomadov talks to Insight blogger, Kasia Wiśniowska, about his film, Home, which has made the shortlist for the 4th Insight Festival.

‘The history told in the film Home by Ruslan Magomadov is based on the real events. The prototype of the protagonist of the film are my neighbours. Also, the fundamental elements of this story are the events I have witnessed between the years 1994 and 1998 in the city of Grozny. I was 10 years old when the war [in Chechnya] began. We had to hide in the cellar of the house, we had to look for the food in the destroyed city, we had to learn how to survive.

‘I have no favourite director or style. The style itself [of a film] is not so important. Important are the questions that the director rises in his film. At first there need to be plan: what the director wants to tell; the style is the next thing to think about. One part of the original plan for my film was to shoot all the shots on the General and American plans. In a picture there should be only one close-up – at the ending, when the protagonist stops the car. As a common decision of myself and the director of photography, we have decided to shoot the film with the static camera, to emphasise the feeling of a melancholy and sadness.

‘Also essential was to keep a balance between Russian and Chechens in the war. Here it is impossible to prefer any side: there were heroes and villains on both sides.

‘I am a Chechen, and the First Chechen War remains forever the great tragedy of the Chechen and Russian people. Many were killed, many lost their houses and were compelled to leave their homeland. This film is about the home, the homeland and portrays these as the most important [things] for all of us.

‘I believe that anyone can always become better than they are at that exact moment. I believe that everyone is identical and I also believe that the cinema can make mankind more human.’