Playing the Victim (film)

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Playing the Victim
Playing the victim.jpg
Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
Produced by Natalia Mokritskaya
Uliana Savelieva
Leonid Zagalsky
Starring Yuri Chursin
Vitali Khayev
Music by Alexander Manotskov
Edited by Olga Grinshpun
Distributed by West (Russia)
Release date
  • 2006 (2006)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

Playing the Victim (Russian: Изображая жертву) is a Russian 2006 black comedy film.[1][2]


Valya, a 30-year-old university drop-out, works for the police acting out murder victims during reconstructions of crimes. His co-workers are a charismatic straight-edge captain, camerawoman Lyuda, and a dim-witted sergeant. At home, Valya's widowed mother has started a relationship with Valya's uncle, who considers Valya to be a "punk" and thinks he should get a normal job. At night Valya has recurring nightmares of his father, who also seems to disapprove of him.

Throughout the film we see the reconstructions taped by Lyuda (from the perspective of her camera), in which the captain has the accused recreate their actions step by step. These scenes are often riddled with absurdly comical situations that contrast the grim nature of the work being done. Valya does not seem to take anything seriously, which irritates the captain, amuses the sergeant, and infuriates his uncle/stepfather.

As the movie progresses, the strain of work causes the captain to lose his temper. This culminates in a 5-minute profane rant about the state of Russia's new generation and football team. Later on, Valya feeds poisoned Japanese food to his family and recently pregnant girlfriend. In the recreation, three other people play the victims while Valya is the accused. When asked what he did as they were dying, he says that he was taking everything in so that he could accurately reconstruct what happened. In the final scene, Valya has a flashback where his father throws him out of a rowboat to teach him to swim, an event mentioned earlier in the film by his mother.[3]





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