Ruslan Magomadov won the SIGNIS Award at the 4th Insight Film Festival. He has written about his new production, FEBRUARY, at Indiegogo.com
FEBRUARY is a Chechen short feature film about two brothers. They are left all alone during the deportation in 1944. Here is an edited transcript of his report and a YouTube video diary at the Indiegogo site:
The importance and need for this project
Nowadays, unfortunately, largely due to the TV series and poor-quality feature films about Chechen bandits, there is a strong stereotype in Russia, that the majority of the Chechens allegedly are unsociable, illiterate and hostile towards other nations; that the Chechens allegedly are not able to sense, suffer, compassionate and love. Such insight and attitude towards the Chechens is often incited by TV news reports about the events in the North Caucasus and deeds of people of Caucasian origin in different countries of the world. There are many negative rumours connected with the Chechens.
But one cannot judge a whole nation by the behaviour of certain representatives of the nation and stick offensive labels on the nation as a whole. This film, first of all, aims to reveal the unknown features of our nation and to dispel the existing offensive stereotype. In the second turn, this film will be converted to those Chechens who by their improper, irregular and disrespectful behavior increasingly reinforce negative attitudes towards the whole nation.
By making this film I – as a representative of the Chechen nation – would like to contribute to the renovation, development and popularisation of our culture and history. The film FEBRUARY is a story of the Chechen people, distracted from the current events and targeted at the rising generation [youth market]. At the same time it will be of interest to a wide audience around the world, as it does not advocate an international dissention, but tells us about eternal life values, common to all nations and nationalities. Alongside with this, the coverage of the unknown facts of the Chechen history will be interesting and new to the audience in Russia, Europe, America and around the world.
About the film, FEBRUARY
This is going to be a short feature film of about 30 minutes length.
FEBRUARY is a heartfelt, cautionary and historically true story that will not leave anyone indifferent. The events featured in the script take place in February 1944 during the period of a severe deportation of the Chechen people. In 1944 over half a million of Chechens and Ingushs, by Stalin’s order, in just a few days were forcibly deported from their native land to Siberia and the steppes of Kazakhstan.
The main characters are two brothers, Zelimkhan and Mamli, who after a long hunt return to their native mountain village where their parents live. But instead of a hearty welcome they find empty houses, hastily abandoned by their dwellers. Now they are all alone, with no parents, no villagers, no homeland. What is to be done? The events develop rapidly, making their tragedy closer and closer.
This is a story about the importance of respecting the elder people. The film aims to show the younger generation the importance of thinking over one’s own deeds and behavior. Since what has already been done cannot be changed.