The director, Thomas Vinterberg sets the scene in his new film Kursk the tragedy that occurred in a Russian submarine in 2000. The feature-length film, which is scheduled to release on November 7, the focus of controversy because the filmmaker denounces the strategic choices of Vladimir Putin and his government at the time of the facts. Thomas Vinterberg has responded to the criticism in an interview with the AFP.
Why have you decided to make this film eighteen years after the disaster? Is that the way Russia has handled the tragedy of the Kursk is indicative of what is currently happening?
This is Matthias Schoenaerts (interpreter for the main male role) who asked me. You can also consider a time-decent for the disaster to start to make a film. After some time, the families are entering a new phase of their life, live their grief differently, it becomes a story that we can tell. At the beginning, it belongs to the families.
At the time of the disaster, there was hope, of openness, the birth of the free press in Russia. But this tragedy became the end of the free press. What is happening in Russia now reminds me of the cold War.
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The choice (the Russian authorities) was not to accept the help of the west (at the beginning of the drama when there were survivors, ed.) Yet, it was a moment in geopolitical where this seemed possible. They have had a strong national pride and military secrets at the expense of human lives. I think today, the choice would have been the same. But the press no longer treated in the same way.
“They have had a strong national pride and military secrets at the expense of human lives”
the villain in The film is an admiral, yet the decision to accept or not accept the help of the west is taken at the political level. The question of political responsibility, is it important in your story?
I’m not sure, it is for this reason that Vladimir Putin (who had just been elected president at the time) is not in the film. I do not want to show (the leaders) of the finger and name names, including that of Putin, although I am in disagreement with him on several points. We are talking about the responsibility without naming names.
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I also wanted to bring this film to another level, make it a story about humanity, the loss, the grief, the impermanence of life and love. It was interesting to see how worthy people behave in the face of death. According to my wife, who is a pastor, 100 years ago people were talking about the death, which was part of the life. Today, we have the illusion that death does not exist.
How have you lived the story of the Kursk, what is it that you scored the most? What are the central themes of the film?
The central themes is the impermanence of life and political injustice. I grew up in the 1970s, and I protested against the injustice. At the end of the film-it is pure fiction – a boy disobeys (by refusing to shake the hand of the admiral). I feel the outrage, it is for this reason that he withdrew his hand.
“I also wanted to bring this film to another level, make it a story about humanity, the loss, the grief, the impermanence of life and love”
I don’t think it has to do with reality because most of the sons of the crew of the Kursk wanted to become submariners. This scene is an encouragement. The blows struck against the hull (by the survivors). It is something that is civilized, dignified, a call to rescue specific. It is very moving.
check out the trailer for Kursk , the output of which is scheduled for 7 November