Leviathan

Leviathan

For the past few months a lively topic of discussion in Russia has been the film Leviathan, directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev. The title is taken from the Book of Job, with which the plot has some affinities. This movie won a Golden Globe award for best foreign film and...
Behind Closed Walls

Behind Closed Walls

I’m just about at the end of a three-week reprieve from Siberian winter. Well, sort of a reprieve. I’m in Ukraine, near the city of Odessa, in a village called Usatovo. What am I doing here, you ask? This is the location of a Lutheran seminary where I’ve just finished...
A Paschal Feast for the Eyes

A Paschal Feast for the Eyes

Easter isn’t just a Sunday: it’s a whole season of the church year. The Feast of the Resurrection continues for 50 days. In Russia, an important feast-food is eggs. I’m a sucker for eggs. No, that doesn’t sound right. Let me rephrase: I really have a weakness for...
Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

While this blog doesn’t aspire to be a clearing house for Russian news items, I couldn’t pass this one up. It further illustrates the great irony and contradictoriness of life in present-day Russia. Several weeks ago in Moscow, some members of a female punk-rock...