The movie Wolfy makes a surprising impression.
On the one hand, its director Vassily
Sigarev, tells a very harsh, realistic and
even brutal story about the relationship between
a mother and her seven-year-old
daughter. They have no names and their conversations
are meaningless, but in each next
scene you see more clearly that the two female
characters are inseparable and as essential to
one another as Yin and Yang.
On the other hand, in visual and dramatic
terms, the movie resembles a fairy tale;
terrible but nonetheless vivid and beautiful, and, as in any fairy tale, a magical object figures
in the movie – a spinning top called
Wolfy, a present from the mother to her
Police pursue a pregnant woman across a snow-covered field and she goes into premature labour. A young girl, the result of the birth, announces in voiceover that she didn't meet her mother until seven years later. Wolfy charts the ongoing course of their relationship, which remains central to the little girl's life. However, she sees her mother rarely and is left in the care of her grandmother and, subsequently, an invalid aunt. Her mother seems to depend on the sexual favours of men and occasionally brings her presents, most significantly a spinning top ('volchok', which is also the Russian for little wolf). Written and directed by one of Russia's leading contemporary playwrights, Vassily Sigarev, whose Plasticine was staged at the Royal Court, the story was based on the experiences of leading actress, Yana Troyanova, who plays the role of the mother. While the subject is, on the surface, grim, Sigarev deliberately sought 'the sensation of childhood memories', arguing that childhood memories can be beautiful regardless. A strikingly imagined combination of social observation and fairy tale, Sigarev's directing debut gives a strong indication that, as he has stated elsewhere, his first love is cinema. Peter Hames (http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/node/540)