Anton tut ryadom [Anton’s Right Here] (2012)

Anton tut ryadom
Director: Lyubov Arkus
Part of: Viennale

Lyubov Arkus is a Russian magazine editor. A few years ago she got her hands on an essay written by an autistic boy, Anton, where he writes about how he sees the world. They decided to make a documentary about him, and when the originally planned director has to cancel in the last minute, Arkus takes his place. This kicks off a very tight relationship between Anton and Lyubov and an accompanying of Anton from living with his mother until she gets sick, to federal institutions, uncovering the woeful state of mental health care in Russia.

Anton tut ryadom has an interesting story to tell, but it does so in a rather manipulative and overlong fashion. Also, it doesn’t tell the story it thinks it’s telling – rather than being an indictment of the mental health care in Russia, it is a pretty interesting look at how the film crew grows ever more involved into the story.

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