A l'est des rêves
Documentary, 50 min.
by Luc Peter
Switzerland / Germany, May 2000
In 1896 the actress Maria Gavrilovna Savina founded an institution in St. Petersburg to serve as a home for retired Russian artists, and to help them in other ways. Today Savina House hosts about a hundred dancers, actors, opera singers and directors whose careers all took place under the former Soviet regime. It features five of the residents, whose memories evoke the world of the artist under the communist system, while on a more intimate level they provide rare first-hand glimpses of the rapidly changing world of Russia throughout the 20th century. At the same time the film gives an inside view of this unusual home and its residents in their everyday lives. A day in the life of some rather endearing Russians of exceptional sensitivity and talent, with a touch of madness.