Young spouses document every second of their life together. They do this not for fun, but in order to find death at work: Masha (Sasha Bystrzhitskaya) has melanoma, but she’s not going to give up just like that. Instead of discouragement, she collects memes about death, organizes her own funeral (what color, for example, to order a coffin) and tries to infect her husband with her sincere fun.

Petya (Daniil Pugaev), on the contrary, walks gloomier than the clouds — without removing his sweater a la Bodrov from Brother, he is looking for money for expensive overseas treatment. You won’t earn four million in courier work in a short time, and a dry mother (Ekaterina Volkova) refuses to sell her son’s apartment for reckless spending on a dying girl.

“Death to our face” is the director’s second film shot on a mobile phone, following last year’s “Bassoon”, which, incidentally, was also shown on “Window to Europe”. Black humor, sexual scenes and lively dialogs then captivated many, and the lightweight camera served as just a convenient means for expressing subjective vision.

The new “mobile” film does not give us the point of view of the heroes, but rather takes the side of the silent director Boris, who follows Masha and Petya everywhere. From time to time, the characters take pictures of themselves — "Death to our face" does not just use another technology for the sake of technology or to reduce the cost of production (such as Soderberg), but is styled as a bittersweet video blog.

Director Boris Guts, producer Igor Mishin, actor Daniil Pugaev

Gentle moments and sweet nonsense (there is an outstanding video invitation to Masha’s funeral, in which David Bowie and Kurt Cobain appear) contrast with how the heroine’s condition worsens. Petya is trying to make money acting in porn, but suffers a comic failure. People around them are trying to give idiotic advice on quick money or irritatingly sympathetic.

In addition to obvious funs, more subtle jokes are hidden in the film — for example, Xavier Dolan’s poster is held by the heroes (there Gaspard Ulliel was also burned from a deadly disease). The film’s best gag is hidden somewhere in the middle — Petit’s friend offers to deliver the package to the porn director, while admitting his love for the Twin Peaks series (for this you can get a generous bonus).

Longing and sentimental films about death have long plagued everyone (remember “Me, Earl and the dying girl” as an example), so Gutz offers a completely different directorial intonation — a cute joke against the extinction of vitality, memes against grave worms. Youth turns out to be immortal, especially if captured on video — household documentation becomes a powerful antidote to any hostile manifestation of injustice.

"Death to our face" completely disarms with acting — they are defiantly imperfect, and that is why I want to believe in them. After all, after all, the heroes are ordinary people who find themselves in the frame of a mobile phone, so they can afford to replay or pinched. Young theater actors Sasha Bystrzhitskaya and Daniil Pugaev (this is his debut for him) represent the generation of modern 20-year-olds — Youtube as a personal diary, jokes about power (is it worse to watch porn or vote for Putin?) And unwillingness to repeat the mistakes of unhappy parents. Gutz takes all this without a gram of moralizing and with obvious sympathy for the heroes — it seems, for the first time in his career. Even a staging of “Romeo and Juliet” in the film will turn out to be not just a mocking joke, but also a moment of rare sincerity — for this it is worth loving a young movie that, you want to believe, will never die.

Author: Marat Shabaev

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