• Unclenching the Fists
  • Unclenching the Fists
  • Unclenching the Fists

Unclenching the Fists

by Kira Kovalenko Feature Film Competition

Ada lives in a former mining town in the Caucasus together with her father, Zaur, and her younger brother, Dakko. It is not only the steep cliffs that give Ada a feeling of being trapped. Her father confuses care with control, keeping the children on a short leash and watching over their every move. The eldest son, Akim, has already left to find work in the nearest town. When he returns home, the family's unspoken trauma erupts – and Ada begins to plot her own escape from her father's grip. Director Kira Kovalenko creates an extraordinary closeness to the members of a dysfunctional family where love and hate go hand in hand. A breath-taking cinematic tour de force.

About the director(s)

Kira Kovalenko was born in Naltschi, Russia. She graduated in 2015 from the State University Kabardino-Balkarien and gave her directorial debut with SOFICHKA, which world premiered at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Her second feature film UNCLENCHING THE FISTS world premiered this year at Cannes, where it won the Prix Un certain regard.

Filmography (selection): Unclenching the Fists (2021) | Sofichka (2016)

About the director(s)
  • Genre: Drama
  • Country, Year: Russia, 2021
  • Runtime: 97 Min
  • Languages:
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Director: Kira Kovalenko
  • Cast: Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov, Arsen Khetagurov, Milana Pagieva
  • Screenplay: Kira Kovalenko, Anton Yarush
  • Cinematography: Pavel Fomintsev
  • Editor: Mukharam Kabulova
  • Producers: Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
  • Executive Producer: Natalia Gorina
  • Production Companies: Non-Stop Production, AR Content
  • World Sales: Wild Bunch International Sales
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