A vivid, impressionistic portrait of St. Petersburg in transition, with comments and anecdotes by two young Russians to describe the emotional, political and economic transformations that have wrenched their society. Combining video diary footage and archival material, BELOW THE NEW: A Russian Chronicle documents daily life and Russian and Soviet myth to portray the changes over the last decade. Intimate and historical, the work rhythmically combines sound and image to explore the intersection between personal and collective memory. Extending the documentary aspect of Child's montage, BELOW THE NEW creates a symphonic structure to explore public space to gain a better understanding of both the economic and moral crisis facing present-day Russia.

"It would be interesting to compare Below the New with Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera. Apart from a shared taste for a montage that takes into account the internal logic of the pictures, the latter depicts a world dazed by utopia and eager for a brighter future, whereas the former shows a nation whose conscience seems to be incurably riveted on the past." Bertrand Bacque, Visions du Nyon Documentary Festival, Catalogue

30 minutes. Beta Master
Director, Editor, Camera: Abigail Child
Voices: Olessia Tourkina, Sergei Bugaev
Co-sponsor: Banff Arts Centre, Canada
World Premiere: Visions du Reel, Nyon Switzerland, April 1999;
Selected Screenings: BAM Rose Theatre, New York Premiere; Director's Choice Black Maria Film and Video Festival 1999; The Freud Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Harvard Archive, Cambridge; Donnell Library, NYC.

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