How to Save a Dead Friend
Marusya SYROECHKOVSKAYA Sweden, Norway, France, Germany 103 mins NC16 (Some Drug Use and Mature Content) Southeast Asian Premiere
A couple find solace in each other amid an alienating existence where hope at times feels out of reach as despair threatens to overwhelm.
As 16-year-old Marusya contemplates ending her life, she meets Kimi at a gig. The two kindred spirits discover the possibility of happiness despite a difficult existence. Filming over the next 12 years in what they call the ‘Depression Federation’, the pair traverse Moscow music subcultures while battling drug abuse and depression.
Against the backdrop of autocratic Russia and alienating social conditions, we see the transformations of the couple and their life paths. Through the careful editing of home videos and street footage, the documentary recounts their joys and struggles with bracing honesty and emotional intensity. If there was an emblematic film to Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, this would be it.
Marusya SYROECHKOVSKAYA is a Moscow-born filmmaker and visual artist. Her 2013 short film Exploration of Confinement received the Jury Award at New Orleans Film Festival. How to Save a Dead Friend, her feature debut, received the Special Mention at Visions du Réel.