Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. rights to Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole. The film was produced by Academy Award-nominated producer Alexander Rodnyansky (Andrey Zvyangintsev’s Elena, Loveless, and Leviathan) of AR Content and stars Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina in their debut performances.
Beanpole had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard, where Balagov was awarded the Best Director Prize. The film made its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, will make its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival later this week, and will continue its festival run with the New York Film Festival and San Sebastian International Film Festival later this month.
Kino Lorber will release Beanpole on January 29, 2020 at New York City’s prestigious Film Forum, followed by a national rollout, with VOD and home video releases in the spring.
Beanpole is set in 1945 Leningrad, after World War II has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Although the siege — one of the worst in history — is finally over, life and death continue their battle in the wreckage that remains. Two young women, Iya and Masha, search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. The film is an original story written by Kantemir Balagov and inspired by Nobel Prize-winning author Svetlana Alexievich’s book The Unwomanly Face of War.
“We are very excited that Kino Lorber will bring Beanpole to American audiences,” said producer Alexander Rodnyansky. “At just 28 years old, Kantemir Balagov is able to seamlessly weave contemporary themes into a traditional World War II drama. Beanpole is an incredibly relevant film which focuses on a woman’s role in the world, in this case post WWII Leningrad, and gives audiences an all-encompassing look at a woman’s post-traumatic stress of surviving the horrors of war and combat, a tale so few audiences have experienced.”
Wendy Lidell of Kino Lorber added, “Like those of his teacher, Alexander Sokurov, Kantemir Balagov makes films with great moral depth and stunning visual beauty. Beanpole creates a world filled with complex emotions that cannot be easily forgotten. We are proud and delighted to introduce this exciting young artist to North American audiences.”
Beanpole is Balagov’s second feature film, having made his directorial debut with Closeness in 2017. Closeness premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard and was awarded the FIPRESCI prize.