Vladimir Alenikov. Bastards

Author: Vladimir Alenikov
Title: Bastards
Year: 2005

Quirky and cynical death stories superbly crafted with a devilish imagination.
An orphan child begging in a pedestrian subway kills a woman who helps him to sit up on his wheelchair. His accidental acquaintance presses himself to a bulb in a desperate desire to get warm and ends up burning to death. A nerd wants to win the attraction of local television and chains himself to a rock like Prometheus – and dies just like Prometheus did…
All those stories seemingly separate at the start get entangled in a mosaic painting with the course of the narration and every story finishes in a certain kind of death: ridiculous and awkward, and invariably meaningless. Friends, relatives and neighbours are dying one by one on the pages of this brilliant and bitter book.
Through his shocking, brutal, yet utterly entertaining stories Vladimir Alenikov has created a portrait of a city where alienation has culminated to the point where even death is only another link in a chain of ridiculous life episodes.
Vladimir Alenikov, born in 1948 in Leningrad, is a multi-award winning film director. He has started his career as an author, playwright, scholar and film director in the Soviet era. Now Alenikov lives in Los Angeles where, in addition to writing, directing and producing, he also serves as cultural advisor to the Mikhail Gorbachev Foundation and teaches film directing at the University of California Los Angeles. Among his over 15 directorial works there are “Time of Darkness”, starring George Segal, and “The Gun (from 6 to 7.30 pm)”, produced by Front Line Films.