Manchester International Festival: Far Away From Russia

The pandemic exposed and excluded elderly people from social life, with only their carers able to provide a short-lived moment of community in the midst of a stressful and alien time. 

This post may contain mature or challenging content.

Manchester International Festival: Far Away From Russia

Far Away From Russia, created by Lola Arias, is a short film detailing the life of Inna, an elderly woman who Judit provides care for. The love and resistance of their relationship is evident as Inna expresses her need for more, desiring emotional care in addition to physical assistance. Judit knows she has a duty of care to provide but takes the moments to meet Inna at her level, talking about life – past and present – or breaking from the routine and just ‘being’, providing comfort in the process. 

Everybody speaks in the names of those who are older and in the care of others – but who's really taking care of whom? Judit takes care of Inna but it is evident that Inna wishes to return that favour. 

There were awkward moments throughout this film as with prolonged periods of silence, but every moment a rapport took place between the two characters – life sprung and that awkwardness was no more. This speaks to the notion that we have devalued the importance of communication with our elders, and although we think talking to them is a one-sided exchange, in fact, it sparks something within us too. 

In the end, we see Inna sing in the shower – a ballad of strength and life continues to manifest itself within her character, though we are reminded that this is short-lived. The moment Judit leaves, those shower doors open and Inna will have to return to her daily routine. 

There is a lesson to be learned from this film, and now as the lockdown restrictions lift, we will remember how we felt when our elders were isolated and the choice to combat their loneliness was taken away. We should be taking the time to check in, and more importantly, spend quality time with these people and allow ourselves to receive their knowledge, love and time. 

We need them as much as they need us. 

Click here for Far Away From Russia.

For more from MIF click: 

Header Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay


De-Mornae Clarke

De-Mornae Clarke Kickstart Team

De-mornae is a Kickstart Journalist for Voice. Music, interviews and pop culture are her preferred topics of interest but is often pushing her own creative boundaries to prove that anyone can have an opinion regardless of their background, education or class.

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