In Search of a Lost Paradise

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In Search of a Lost Paradise
In Search of a Lost Paradise theatrical poster.png
Directed byEvgeniy Tsymbal
Produced byAlexander Smoljanski
Written by
  • Alexander Smoljanski
  • Evgeniy Tsymbal
  • Victor Dobronitsky
  • Alexander Smoljanski
Edited by
  • Alexander Gurin
  • Evgeniy Tsymbal
Soms Films
Release date
  • September 25, 2015 (2015-09-25) (United Kingdom)
Running time
52 minutes
  • Germany
  • France
  • Russia
  • Russian
  • (with English subtitles)

In Search of a Lost Paradise is a 2015 German-Russian documentary by Evgeniy Tsymbal and Alexander Smoljanski which tells the story of Russian artist Valentina Kropivnitskaya and her husband, the artist Oscar Rabin.

Aside from the biography of the artists, the film also addresses their unconventional thoughts about twentieth-century art. The director, Evgeny Tsymbal, one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary Russian documentary filmmakers (BAFTA, FIPRESCI and 30 other awards), recounts this refugee success story of an artist who was true to her talent and never gave into the pressures of life.

In Search of a Lost Paradise is the recipient of a Nika award 2016 for Best Documentary Feature.


In 1974, Rabin and Kropivnitskaya organized a prohibited open-air art exhibition, which was smashed by the KGB using bulldozers. The following day the event was publicized worldwide. In 1977, Oscar Rabin was placed under house arrest and shortly thereafter, the family was exiled from the USSR and stripped off their citizenship. However, this historical event forced the Soviets to change their stance regarding art.

They came to France without any money and not knowing a single word of French - they nevertheless continued pursuing their artistic passion, and gradually became famous painters.

It is a story about great talent and great love. One that shows what it is like to live in a totalitarian regime, while still trying to retain one's personal and artistic freedom, a story of people, who have created the very notion of nonconformist art, later called The Second Russian Avant-garde; who never betrayed their artistic principles and showed how powerful a weapon nonviolent resistance can be.


The pre-production started in 2008 when producer Alexander Smoljanski, who was then living in Paris, discovered that Russian painter Oscar Rabin lived next-door. After gathering more than 30 hours of interview footage, he invited Evegeniy Tsymbal to join the project which eventually was completed in summer 2015. It has since received positive reviews from critics[1][2] and was awarded Best Documentary at various international film festivals.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Location Category Result
2015 3rd Indian Cine Film Festival-15 Mumbai, India Best Documentary Nominated
Portsmouth International Film Festival Portsmouth, UK Best Documentary Won[3]
Southampton International Film Festival Southampton, UK Best Editing Won[4]
Russia Abroad International Film Festival Moscow, Russia Cinema Academy Award Won[5]
The International Human Rights Film Festival “STALKER Moscow, Russia Best Documentary Won[6]
2016 Berlin Independent Film Festival Berlin, Germany Best Documentary Won[7]
«Nika» Award Moscow, Russia Best Documentary Won[8][9]
Paris Independent Film Festival Paris, France Best Documentary Won[10]


  1. ^ Rogatchevski, Ilia. "Film Review: In Search Of A Lost Paradise". Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  2. ^ Блехер, Леонид. "Растерянность" (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-07.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "AWARD WINNERS - Portsmouth International Film Festival". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  4. ^ "AWARD WINNERS - Southampton International Film Festival". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  5. ^ mayak_parnasa. "Закрытие IX Международного кинофестиваля "Русское Зарубежье" - отчёт". Маяк Парнаса (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-07.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "XXI Международный фестиваль фильмов о правах человека "Сталкер" подвел итоги". (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  7. ^ "Festival 2015 «  Berlin Independent Film Festival". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  8. ^ Плахов, Андрей (2016-03-04). "Прекрасная эпоха не кончается". Коммерсантъ (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  9. ^ "Фильм "Милый Ханс, дорогой Петр" стал обладателем премии "Ника"". (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  10. ^ "Winners 2016 | Paris Independent Film Festival". Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2016-12-08.

External links[edit]