Under house arrest, Russia’s Serebrennikov misses Cannes festival

Under house arrest since August last year, Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov will miss the Cannes Film Festival this week, where his film “Leto” or Summer is competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize.

The film tells the story of Soviet-Korean rock legend Viktor Tsoi, whose songs are seen in Russia as anthems of the late 1980s Perestroika era.

Serebrennikov edited the film under house arrest after he was arrested on embezzlement charges he dismisses as “absurd.” The case, which many see as political, has sent shockwaves through Moscow’s culture circles.

The 48-year-old has revolutionised Moscow’s theatre scene with radical stagings of new plays and reinvented classics. He has also staged ballets and an opera at the legendary Bolshoi theatre.

As a film director he has received critical acclaim, winning prizes at the Cannes and Rome film festivals while his 2012 film “Betrayal” was nominated for the prestigious Golden Lion at Venice.

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