Bread Day | Chicago Reader

Bread Day

Every Tuesday a small group of old men and women push a train car containing what will have to be a week's worth of bread into their small community, a nearly abandoned workers' settlement north of Saint Petersburg. In the marvelously relentless opening of this 53-minute 1998 documentary, they push the car along a seemingly endless length of track—the long take filmed from behind makes you feel as if you're helping, and you may even wonder why the filmmaker doesn't drop the camera and pitch in. Similarly staunchly held camera positions show other interactions of people (and dogs and goats) in the community, while acknowledging the intrusion with unusual elegance. One man stops bickering with a woman to yell at the camera operator to stop filming, yet he's obviously, almost eerily comfortable with being observed and having his behavior recorded. He and another man, who wants to buy what the bread seller considers an unreasonable number of loaves, play roles in one of several found dramas, as director Sergey Dvortsevoy reveals a lyrical relationship between the natural beauty of the area and the conflict among its inhabitants. 53 min.

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