Special screening and Q&A: Unclenching the Fists


From 27 September 2021




Garage Screen summer cinema
Special screening and Q&A: Unclenching the FistsSpecial screening and Q&A: Unclenching the Fists


One of the main Russian films of the year, Kira Kovalenko’s drama Unclenching the Fists, tells the story of a girl trying to free herself from a traumatic past and the pressure of the patriarchal order. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Kira Kovalenko, producer Alexander Rodnyansky and screenwriter Anton Yarush.

A seriously traumatized child, Ada works as a saleswoman in a small store near a mountain tunnel on the border with South Ossetia. She wants to escape from her native mining town of Mizur and reunite with her older brother, who left for Rostov, but her father, who is overprotective of her, will not allow her to do so. Kira Kovalenko’s second feature, produced by Alexander Rodnyansky, premiered internationally at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Un Certain Regard Award.

Like Kovalenko's debut Sofichka (2017), based on the eponymous novella by Fazil Iskander, her second feature is a drama about a young girl growing up in a patriarchal Caucasian habitat. The director continues to decolonize histories and languages: whereas Sofichka was filmed in Abkhaz, Unclenching the Fists is in Ossetian, almost without the use of Russian. Kovalenko’s first picture, based on an original script, was co-written with Anton Yarush (Closeness) with the participation of Lyubov Mulmenko (The Nadezhda Combine). The film stars predominantly nonprofessional local actors, with the leading role played by Milana Aguzarova, a graduate of North Ossetian State University’s acting department, who was named “the finding of the year” by film critic Anton Dolin.

The film will be screened in Ossetian with Russian subtitles.

Unclenching the Fists
Dir. Kira Kovalenko
Russia, 2021. 97 min. 12+


Standard: 450 RUB
Student: 350 RUB*


Concessions for pensioners, veterans, large families, under 18s, and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 225 RUB**

* For students of 18 to 25 years old with student ID
** Please bring proof of eligibility