I have been working at the documentary cinematograph since long. During this time I did films about many different people. But in reality, the ideas for my films were coming from Soviet leaders. I never had to make a choice. They used to order me and I used to execute. But somewhere deep in my mind I had an idea, a dream. I was badly willing to make a film about Jews in Russia. (It is clear enough why Im a Jew myself). But it was impossible in the Soviet times, when the anti-Semitism was almost a State policy. The proposal to make a Jewish Autonomous Region deep in taiga (there were only Stalins concentration camps there) was in absolute accordance with this policy.
Later, during Perestroika, some very interesting documents on Birobidgan have fallen into my hands and my interest in this question has grown.
The hero of my future film Boris Rak is almost of the same age as Jewish Autonomous Region. His life story is the story of Birobidgan. I would really like to share this story, showing the facts, a big archive and emotions.
The world of the future film will represent a flow of accidental, at first regard, events. By help of this film the spectator will have an opportunity to understand and to feel the untamed essence of life. The aim of the documentary film is to get the best possible likeness of real life. It is this likeness that gives an opportunity to create an emotional work of cinematographic art in the documentary cinematograph, which should influence audience much stronger than just a simple transmission of facts.
If the realization of the film is postponed, than maybe some parts of this tragic story will be lost and its heroes will possibly just pass away, so that the carrying out of this project will become practically impossible
Making The Film
Alexander Gutman graduated frm the All-Russia State Institute of Cinematography and has become a mature master with his own manner and extraordinary view.
Documentary films, shot by A.Gutman, can be always distinguished by extraordinary, non-standard creative view. He is interested not only in facts and realities of nowadays. He focuses his opinion on the inner world of the character. A. Gutman always creates a bright image of our contemporary, and expressive visual images favorably distinguish his works from many other films. Extraordinary directors solutions and non-standard approach to development of films devoted to different topics were marked by humanism, humanity and patriotism.
First directors work of A.Gutman film Circle, shot in 1989 was noticed by auditory and critics. The next film The Russian have gone, shot in 1991, was awarded several prizes at International festivals in Finland, Belgium and Egypt.
The following films by director-cameraman A.Gutman were focused on the inner world of characters, atmosphere of life of perestroika epoch.
In 1993 A.Gutmans film 1244, 1245, 1246 was awarded the Main prize at film festival Photogramma de Oro in Italy and a Silver prize at the Open Russian Festival of Non-Fiction Films in Ekaterinburg.
After his film Body Without A Head or Bodybuilding A.Gutman has become widely known. This film is about a man who was a model for a huge number of monuments during Soviet Times, including the famous monument by Vera Muhina A Worker and A Kolhoznitsa (a collective farm woman-worker). In 1996 the film was awarded the Main prizes at film festivals in Spain, Portugal and Jury prize at festival in Canada.
The next film of A.Gutman Three Days and Never More, shot in 1998 attracted great interest of the whole country. With the help of artistic means of documentary cinematography it raised the theme of capital punishment in Russia. A.I. Pristavkin, the chairman of Pardon Committee under Supervision of the President of Russia, in one of his interviews said that film of A.Gutman Three Days and Never More was his brightest impression for the past years.
Journey back to Youth (2002) is a film about the last months of the Great Patriotic War. In 2001 it was awarded Platinum Prize at International film festival in Huston (USA) and prize Golden Camera at US International Film and Video Festival.
During his work in cinematography director-cameraman A.Gutman has shot as a cameraman more than 100 films and news-reels, and as a director about 35 short and full-length films.