Russian Libertine

Ari Matikainen

Finland 2012, 75 min.


Spoken language: Russian

Subtitles: English

Dutch premiere

Festival year: 2013

Portrait of Russian author and dissident Victor Erofeyev. He grew up as the son of a rich diplomat in the Soviet era, but renounced his origins and became a critic of the Russian state.


Author Victor Erofeyev (1947) is one of the many critics of the Russian state, which would rather silence him. Yet he calls himself ‘the freest man on earth’. For decades, he has openly criticised the Soviet Union and, subsequently, Russia, denouncing its leaders but also the political climate. Being the son of Soviet diplomats, Erofeyev grew up in privileged, elite circles. He later renounced his origins, however. In 1979, he wrote a controversial article for his own magazine Metropol. This was the final blow for his parents’ career, and a publication ban was issued against Erofeyev himself. Despite censorship, he was to become a very successful and widely translated author. Together with many other dissatisfied Russians, Erofeyev champions change, hoping for a better future. Yet the road to more justice and less corruption is long and the burden of history particularly heavy in today’s Russia.

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