Written by Augustine
Not long ago I posted some of my thoughts on two Russian new wave films: Leviathan (2014) and The Fool (2014). These excellent movies were focused on the ethical and moral degradation or the degeneration of common values in modern-day capitalist Russia – one of the many motherlands of rotten religious institutions and fake patriotism. Nevertheless, several remarkable coming-of-age movies of our century are often hidden among box office hits and Hollywood productions. To me, such productions fail to depict correctly many problems teenagers face today such as mental illness, domestic violence and severe peer pressure.
Everybody Dies But Me is a 2008 Russian drama directed by Valeriya Gai Germanika and it follows the intertwined lives of three best friends located in Moscow; three low-class high school girls, Katya, Zhanna and Vitka. Three different characters from different backgrounds and with different personalities, three girls are striving to be accepted by their older classmates, they are striving to fit in a society which urges children to grow up faster than usual. A society which is not tolerant in any deviant behavior, a society which devours those who do not follow blindly its arbitrary rules.
The way the camera follows the girls and the almost naturalistic way of showing their high school (and not only) dramas reminds even the most demanding viewer that not every movie needs to have the best photography, a high-caliber cast and even special effects. Everybody Dies But Me portrays the problems a great deal of teenagers suffer from today and they are afraid to speak up against them.
It should be mentioned that even if the movie denounces violence and underage drinking, common issues among young adults, it simultaneously criticizes these problems within Russia. What is more, the fact that the trio of friends are females, no matter their sexual orientation, provides fertile ground for further conversation on the constructed sanctity of virginity, the romanticization of first-time sex and even the “sanctity” of female friendship.
Finally and for your own information: actors were instructed to consume large quantities of alcohol and tobacco in front of camera and even perform the fighting scenes without stunts in order for them to appear as natural as possible (from Wikipedia). And an even more useful piece of information: you can watch the movie in ytube for free!
Have a nice week!