Moscow Film Festival to Close With Italian Divorce Drama 'You Can't Save Yourself Alone'

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An aerial view of Moscow, Russia.

Sergio Castellitto's romantic drama will bring the curtain down on the event cut short by two days due to Russia's economic crisis.

Italian director Sergio Castellitto's romantic drama about an estranged couple picking over the past as they try to mend their broken relationship, You Can't Save Yourself Alone, will close the 37th edition of the Moscow International Film Festival.

Announcing the late addition to the program for the festival, which opens on Friday, June 19, program director Kirill Razlogov said he had wanted the film to play in competition but Castellitto could not attend.

"When it became clear that the director would not be able to come to Moscow, we decided to show it as the closing film," Razlogov told Russian state news agency TASS. "We do not want to lose the film, which is very much a work of modern cinema."

Castellitto's film, released in March, was nominated in three categories, including best actor at last week's David Di Donatello awards — Italy's local Oscars — but came away empty handed.

The festival, which this year runs two days shorter than usual due to financial constraints caused by Russia's economic crisis and the collapse of local currency, the ruble, against the dollar, opens with jury chairman Jean-Jacques Annaud's epic $40 million French-Chinese production, Wolf Totem, which won the Tiantan award for best director at the Beijing Film Festival last April.

French-speaking, British-born actress Jacqueline Bisset, who is also on the jury, will be among 40 foreign guests, most of whom the festival will only announce once they are on the flight to Russia in case of any late cancelations, Razlogov said.

The festival's main competition program includes controversial historical drama Dear Hans, Dear Peter, from Russian director Alexander Mindadze, who was forced to change the script and push the action from 1940 back 10 years after Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky incorrectly claimed that the film, set in 1940 when Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany still maintained close and friendly relations, had no basis in fact.

The festival will also show, out of competition — Laura Poitras' documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Citizenfour. Snowden was given political asylum in Russia in 2013 and is thought to still be living in Moscow.


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