Section: Feature Film Competition


Crystal Swan

Darya Zhuk
Belarus, Germany, USA, Russia, 2018, 93 Min

A bird of paradise arrives in the countryside: DJ and unemployed graduate lawyer Evelina doesn't fit into the gloom of 1990s Belarus. She wants to escape Minsk and the post-Soviet depression for Chicago, the cradle of house music. The road there is rocky, however: she needs to get a visa to the USA, no easy task without a job, and it's the latter requirement that leads her on an impromptu journey to the hinterlands of her native country.

Loco Films

Evelina (electrifying: Alina Nasibullina) is different. Different from the scolding boys on the bus, her patriotic yogi mum, her drunken boyfriend Alik and from the girls who, in the absence of any other prospects in 1996, are only looking for one thing: a man to marry. Evelina's home is not Minsk or Belarus, but house music, and her destination are the clubs in Chicago where the liberating basses were first played. But, to achieve that, she must first get a US visa, and, as is well known, that's not possible without a permanent job. She cleverly masquerades as the manager of a crystal factory from the countryside. Everything seems to work out, but then it turns out that the phone number she gave the US embassy doesn't ring at the factory, but at the home of a chaotic family in the country. Now it's a matter of keeping a watch over this phone and not missing the longed-for call.

Full of clichés and yet never exaggerated, director Darya Zhuk paints the picture of a non-conformist woman, who is ahead of her time. RP

DCP | Farbe / Colour
Helga Landauer, Darya Zhuk
Carolina Costa
Oliver Achaz
Sergey Dmitrenko, Michal Leszczylowski
Andrey Tolstik
Andreas Lucas
Alina Nassibullina, Ivan Mulin, Yury Borisov, Svetlana Anikey, Ilya Kapanets
Debbie Vandernmeulen
Turnstyle TV LLC
Demarsh Films Minsk, Unfound Content, Fusion Features, Vice Media
Loco Films
Hanna Constant
42 Rue Sedaine
75011 Paris
+33 66 28 19 301
Darya Zhuk

Darya Zhuk - born in Minsk, Belarus, now lives in New York. She went to the USA at the age of 16, where she first studied economics at Harvard University before graduating as a director from the Columbia University. Since then she has made several short films, for which she has won various awards and been invited to numerous film festivals. CRYSTAL SWAN is her feature film debut.

WAX (2013, short)
EAT THE TOURISTS (2014, short)
WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU (2015, short)
THE REAL AMERICAN (2015, short, FFC 2017)
LIKE A DREAM (2016, doc, short)

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