Freestyle explores the lives of young Westerners
who left their homes to start a new life someplace else - in Russia.
We meet Gwain Hamilton in Moscow, three years after he becomes
an English teacher there. He loves the place, the culture, the
language, he even loves the ugly things that can be seen plenty
in Moscow.Gwain seems to feel that Moscow
could be his home for the rest of his life. This is when, within
two short weeks, the unthinkable chain of events takes place.
The Terrorist Attacks, related to
the war in Chechnya, shake
Moscow and Russia: bombs on buses, suicide-bombing of planes by
Chechen terrorists, explosions in the Metro, and the killing
of hundreds of children on the first day of school in Beslan shock
the Russian society.
Gwain witnesses how within days fear and anger change the mood
in the city. The Russian version of freedom turns into the ruthlessness
of the authorities, discrimination against non-Russians, intolerance
of other nationalities and religions. Even Gwain’s belief,
that he is a full member of Russian society, is shattered when
he learns that everyone still sees him as a foreigner. He notices
that all his true friends are foreigners just like him that pretend
Russia is their new home. This is when Gwain takes a serious look
at what he is doing in Moscow and grows up.
"The film provides
an excellent portrait of post-communist Moscow through the
eyes of young Westerners."
Andrew Jenks, California State University, Long Beach
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Educational Media Reviews
"With clarity and integrity, this documentary captures the changes
that take place in Russia...Strongly Recommended"
Ernest Jaeger, formerly with North Plainfield Schs., NJ
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Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Julia Ivanova's filmography includes
producing and directing "From
Russia, For Love", a documentary on international adoption,
that has screened on CBC's Passionate Eye and has been sold internationally.
She directed her second documentary "I Want a Woman",
about Eastern European men looking for love in the North American
world, for Make Believe Media and CBC “Rough Cuts”.
She recently completed another documenatry "Fatherhood Dreams"
for Global Currents on gay men parenting. Julia is a graduate
of the Russian film school VGIK.
Boris Ivanov is Interfilm’s “hands
in charge of development and production as well as marketing
for the slate
of documentaries. His producing credits include the documentaries
Fatherhood Dreams, From Russia, For Love.. Other
credits include theatrical recreations director/producer for
CBS/History channel’s Beyond Top Secret, which has earned
two News and Documentary Emmy® nominations in 2007.
“Moscow Freestyle” features the music
of a great European jazz musician, a Norwegian, Nils
Petter Molvaer as
well as the lyrics and songs of a talented Vancouver band The
"Moscow Freestyle" has won a Humanity Award at the Red Shift Festival in
New York. It is currently screening on Yes/DBS in Israel and on "Planete" Poland.