Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Moscow Freestyle

So, have you ever looked around your language school at all the pathetic yet colorful wrecks and their horrible misadventures and thought, "Man, somebody ought to make a documentary about this place"?

Well, somebody has. A well-established maker of documentaries, in fact, a Russian living in Canada named Julia Ivanova.

Actually, it's not so much about English teaching as about a bunch of foreigners living in Moscow at the end of 2004, when terrorist attacks were happening about every week. (The Beslan school massacre, which gets my vote for most fucked-up, cowardly terrorist attack ever, happens during the film, too.)

But an English teacher is the star (as such) and this documentary well captures the life of an English teacher in Russia -- the loneliness and frustration, the seedy apartments and the washing clothes in the bathtub, the clashes with administration, police and surly locals, the drinking, bantering and wandering around at night, the bruised romanticism and idealism. . .

I had the pleasure of seeing an advance copy last night and I recommend it. The website for the film is:


It's going to be on Canadian TV in April, and I'm suggesting to Julia she edit an uncut, expanded version, with more drinking binges and arguing, and sell it on the Internet.

(And no, before any of you ask, I'm not in the film anywhere. I don't live in Moscow. A mutual acquaintance recommended my site to her, and she decided to use the line "God watches out for drunks, little children, and English teachers" as a sort of tag line for the film.)


Anonymous said...

too bad i'm not in canada to watch that. I hope its going to be on bittorrent or emule!!! take some more pictures english! i like your site!!

etm2 said...

Is this going to be available o DVD or some other form for non-maple-leafers? or should i, in true russian tradition, try for a bootleg/recorded version?

btw,i heard they were going to make a movie out of Chastity's experiences as an ESL student...until they realized it would bore (or annoy) the piss out of everyone.

Anonymous said...

hahah ya I also heard about Chastity's movie, they are going to play it in the time slot between Marry Poppins and Sesame Street. HAHAA!!!!

Anonymous said...

'Marry Poppins' No, shag her up the bum;chim chimeny

Anonymous said...

that bootlegging tradition is an eastern european one -English Teacher in Poland

Anonymous said...

after reading that chastitys website i have to smoke some weed and now... so depressing now i need to laugh -same English Teacher in Poland