1930: Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam travel to Armenia on the last trip of
their life together. The Russian poet is looking for the gift of word,
after years of silence, in the country he considers to be the cradle of
European civilization. The dream comes true but, back in Moscow, he is
sentenced to confinement and later to death for having written verses
unpleasant to the soviet rulers.
80 years later, in the Caucasus, only rubble is left of the Soviet
Union. Mandelstam's travel starts again where it had interrupted, in a
region at the crossroads of different worlds, suspended between past and
future. The documentary retraces the poet's itinerary, from an
abandoned seafront in Sukhumi to the mountains of Nagorno Karabakh. But
this time the traveler is accompanied by the words of Nadezhda, who has
learnt by heart her husband's poetry in order to pass it over to the
future generations. And to continue his life with him.
script, direction: Andrea Rossini
in collaboration with: Giorgio Comai
narration: Nada Malanima
original music: Massimo Zamboni
production: Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso; Kineofilm
(BAD OMENS: APRIL 30th – MAY 1st 1938)
"Everything, the entire world was poetry."
Varlam Shalamov, The Kolyma Tales