A film by Ksenia Galiaeva and Jonathan van Essche
Production: near/by film
Unreal Estate is an autobiographical fiction film by visual artist Ksenia Galiaeva and film maker Jonathan van Essche. The film is based on 20 years worth of Ksenia's photographic works and shows the life of her family in their Dacha, their Russian summer house. The film makers follow them while they harvest vegetables, swim, read and lounge in the garden.
The main characters are aware of the role that they play and take an active part in the construction of the story. Ksenia has turned them into protagonists, heros, out of admiration of their courage and their fantastic sense of humor, and out of guilt for not being able to help them that much, living in another country.
The summer house becomes a collection of metaphores where time has an elastic quality - almost like a mythical time, where the story keeps developing but at the same time keeps repeating itself.
"We want to make a film that has its own rythm and logic, with a narrative that shows a flexible approach towards the documentary, where concrete biographical elements can be turned into universal metaphores."
The mirror brims with brightness;
a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling.
Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change,
nobody will ever die.
V. Nabokov: Speak, Memory