The portrait of Natasha - Jimini Hignett en Hens van Rooy

Original Dutch film title:
83 minutes

Portrait of a Russian woman who works as a set designer at a children’s theatre.

While documentary maker Jimini Hignett paints a portrait of Natasha, we get to know Natasha better. She re-enacts some scenes from her life and children play the roles of the other important people therein. The film shows the absurd existence in Moscow.

The Portrait of Natasha is a film about a woman in Moscow, about growing up in the Soviet Union. It is also a film about theatre: life in the Soviet-Union as in a huge, absurd theatre.
The 36-year old Natasha tells her story to Jimini who is meanwhile painting her portrait. Natasha is one of few whose dreams don’t stop at the allotted boundaries of house, car, food and clothes. For Natasha there is something more fundamental and far more distant which she lacks: the chance to be herself in surroundings which accept and support her being herself. Without that acceptance there is no real freedom.
Natasha re-enacts some scenes from her own life, all the other roles: doctors, pregnant woman, drunken man, are played by children.
Natasha is worried about the future of her own children, who still have to go through all the miserable absurdity that she has already faced. “I just want them to be happy, but can they be happy here?” In the children’s play we see how the kids are subjected to the same rules and hierarchies that have crippled previous generations. It’s a mini version of the Soviet Union: a stage, literally and metaphorically.

Natasha Elioutina (Natasha)

editing & direction: Hens van Rooy
scenario, editing & direction: Jimini Hignett
camera: Maarten Kramer
sound: Mark Glynne
music: Joost Dieho
re-recording mix: Ad Roest
production coordinator: René Goossens
producer: René Scholten

this film is financially supported by:
Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties
NOS Televisie