A reflection on the hostage-taking at Moscow's Dubrovka Theatre in 2002: within the framework of a memorial evening a group of survivors exchanges memories. A process of mourning, calmly captured at the original scene of events and directed with silent rage against collective amnesia.
Sister Natasha is one of the survivors of the hostage drama. Immediately afterwards she left her family and joined a monastery. Now, years later, she returns to Moscow to organise a memorial service at the scene of the crime. Her daughter Galya, also a survivor, promptly throws her out. Galya also doesn't want to know anything about the "conference", as the evening is referred to on paper. Yet it takes place with plastic dolls as placeholders for the victims and perpetrators. Little by little the auditorium is filled with the painful testimonies of those left behind. And Natasha finally breaks her silence about the fateful night: it's a confession. In the real hostage-taking at the Dubrovka Theatre more than 100 hostages, as well as the terrorists, were killed when the auditorium was stormed. To this day aspects of the controversial rescue operation remain unaddressed by the authorities. In contemplative images CONFERENCE undertakes a long reverberating appraisal of the trauma, which is at its most political when dealing with the blank spots that remain. KS
After the film you can watch the Q&A between the film director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy, producer Katerina Mikhaylova and FFC-moderator Joshua Jádi HERE.
Natalya Pavlenkova, Olga Lapshina, Kseniya Zueva, Yan Tsapnik