“Vadim na progulke” seen through the eyes of Sarah Schlüssel, member of the preselection team of Berlinale Shorts.
Vadim struggles. He is locked in a confined space and he seems to have been in there for quite some time. His thoughts are racing. What if he’s not ready to break out? What if something unexpected happens on the other side? Eventually, Vadim takes a leap and we go with him. Everything is messy outside. The sound grows intense; the animation is fluid and fast. Black and white, neon colours and symmetrical patterns. A lot of new impressions. Who the hell are all these people? It’s a crazy world we live in.
We all know how it is to risk something, to leave what we know and are comfortable with. Especially in this strange year of 2020 when many of us have experienced isolation, fear and existential crises. But beyond the pandemic and our own problems, there are other images that stay with us: police brutality, political unrest, elites that do not want to lose their power and influence. We have been out on the streets, we have been inside our own four walls. But has it changed anything? We have been brought up not to question capitalism. After all, the same thing happens in nature: the lion wins, the gazelle loses. “Is there anything more natural than the power of the powerful over the powerless?” The lions are laughing right in our faces.
It only takes Sasha Svirsky eight minutes to tell Vadim’s story. So many things to think about. After seeing his last film, “My Galactic Twin Galaction”, in the 2020 Berlinale Shorts, I was expecting to have great fun with “Vadim na progulke” (“Vadim on a Walk”). But his new film moved me and made me angry. It is a biting, sarcastic commentary on the status quo, told by the filmmaker himself via text and images. In the end, Vadim goes back into his cage which, after his walk, feels safe, no longer like a prison. Nice and warm, familiar. No need to ask those big questions, no need to find answers.
Dive into some of Sasha Svirsky’s previous short films on his Vimeo channel
Sarah Schlüssel is a cultural manager and film programmer. She is a member of the Berlinale Shorts selection committee, coordinates the Short Form Station of Berlinale Talents, and co-founded shorts/salon.