Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Meistersinger — The Sound of Russia 2003

Directed by Ekaterina Eremenko

Germany In Russian with English subtitles
59 minutes Beta-SP

Director, Screenplay


Sergeij Politik


Alexander Chupakov


Daler Nazarov


Amsterdam Documentary 2003


An unlikely confederacy of men and the female scorn heaped upon it are given equal measure in this wry documentary about members of the Foundation for the Promotion of the Reedy-Voiced Canary and their long-suffering wives. We follow several proud connoisseurs of the twitter and the tweet as they prepare their birds – exclusively male, too – for the annual singing competition. Obsessives to a man, they belong to a range of social groups and come to Moscow from all over Russia, each hoping like mad that his bird will rise to the occasion during his 15 seconds in the spotlight. Women, known to leave a room midway through the most brilliant trill, are too preoccupied with getting the children out of bed, giving them breakfast, taking them to school, walking the dog and earning a crust to care about these ‘real essentials of life’. Though filmmaker Ekaterina Eremenko’s view of the male competitive spirit invested in such tiny yellow birds is as ironic as her title, she still has us caring about the unexpected outcome. — BG