The PORTRAIT of NATASHA

Here’s the trailer for long documentary film I made way back in 1991. (Trailer is poor, low-res quality, but at least now has English subtitles.)
The Portrait of Natasha is set in Moscow during the final months of Gorbatschov’s perestroika and the script won first prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) which meant that there was money to actually produce the film.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAILER
(Takes a minute or two to load, so please be patient…)
Portrait-Natasha-Poster

The music is by Joost Dieho, Maarten Kramer did the camerawork, Mark Glynn sound, Hens van Rooy edited and directed with me, and Studio Nieuwe Gronden were the producers.
“… Moscow, April 29th Been here almost three months now. Today I made everybody laugh with my Russian by saying, “My mother is an arsehole.” I had meant to say, “My mother is a gardener,” but the two sound almost the same! Although my grip on the language is improving, it seems that the more I comprehend, the less I really seem to understand the implications of what people say to me. At first I accepted seeing only the surface, assuming that, sooner or later, it would be possible to understand more, but the deeper I delve, the less comprehension I have of this country that simply isn’t working. The people are still living within the system they accept to be a worthless pack of lies. How can they have let it get so far? Everyone spits upon the Soviet way of doing things, but they all go on shrugging their shoulders and proliferating it. Time after time my hand is shaken admiringly, “Capitalist!”, they exclaim. My tales of imperfection in the West are simply “anti-capitalist propaganda”. Incredulity at the idea that all may not be well in the land-of-plenty America. Here where there’s nothing left to believe in and dreams of the U.S.A. are one’s only solace, I get into many arguments and am scolded as a communist almost as much as admired for being a “capitalist”. Those people not so dazzled by dreams of Western glory that they are unable to think anymore, are far and few between. Natasha seems to be one of those few. She’s been keeping her daughter back from starting school because she cannot bear the thought that this cheerful, lively seven year old will be ground down into another sullen, grey defeatist. Despite her burden of despair for her childrens’ future we seem able to share a certain sense of humor about life here and she is becoming a good friend. Someday I’d like to paint her portrait.”