The 3 Rooms of Melancholia
Directed by Pirjo Honkasalo • Documentary • 2004 • 104 minutes
An award-winning, stunningly beautiful documentary, THE 3 ROOMS OF MELANCHOLIA looks at how the Russia’s war in Chechnya twenty year ago psychologically affected children both in Chechnya, and in Russia. Divided into three episodes or 'rooms,' the film is characterized by an elegantly paced, observational style and a spare but evocative musical score.
Room No. 1 “Longing” is set in a Russian military academy near St. Petersburg. Room No. 2, “Breathing” was filmed in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya and shows the widespread destruction wrought by the Russian shelling. And Room No. 3, “Remembering” focuses on children in a refugee camp.
THE 3 ROOMS OF MELANCHOLIA illuminates the emotional devastation wrought on youngsters who have little or no understanding of the reasons for the bitter conflict. In an even more troubling sense, the film also makes clear how seeds of hatred are instilled in young minds that will likely fuel the conflict into the next generation.
"A beautiful, moving, mysterious film. A prodigious, almost spiritual experience, a luminous, challenging art movie out of the Tarkovsky school that happens to be about a real war and its effects on real children. Put this on your must-see list!"—Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"Magnificent! Evidence that when a director-cinematographer with a poet's vision photographs the material world, ordinary human faces and landscapes can leave impressions that transcend any words that might describe them."—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
—North American Premiere, 2005 Sundance Film Festival
—Seeds of War Award, 2005 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival