I'LL SAY IT FIRST

Directed by
Alena Shevchenko

The dreaded text.

Moscow born and raised director and former actor Alena Shevchenko wrote this narrative-fashion piece to examine one angle of the the relationship between women and men: that initial text. Influenced by Soviet Union era Shevchenko placed her actress in a world of basic furniture, nothing unnecessary seen. This creates an interesting grey area for the film between the modern tech of phones and the nostalgia of a much more simplified life.

Shevchenko << The concept was born from my monodrama, based on my personal story, which I wrote specially for the stage and played by myself as an actress. Later, I decided to transform this monodrama to a short film inspired by Sedmikrásky and Eralash (Soviet and Russian children’s humorous newsreel).

The visuals were inspired by the Soviet Union era. It was a special style. During that time people didn’t have a wide range of products and goods (because of the economic conditions and the Iron Curtain we didn’t have imported products), that’s why many flats looked the same – same furniture, same sofas, same chairs. That also extended to our clothes. We didn’t have much, but we were grateful for every little thing. In contrast to Europe and the United States, where the design depended on the needs of the market, in the Soviet Union the main customer was the state. Hence the specificity of Soviet design: it mainly served industry and the public sphere, but was not intended to decorate the lives of ordinary people.

I spend all my childhood in a flat like this but nowadays everybody has kind of “Ikea style” accommodation. People are getting rid of “old Soviet stuff” because now it’s a trend to buy everything new and modern. This film is kind of nostalgic about those earlier times. I wanted to pair the modern digital world with an old Soviet flat as a metaphor that technology changes but dreams stay the same. >>

Some text taken from: https://directorsnotes.com/2020/02/06/alena-shevchenko-ill-say-it-first/

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