Innocent Saturday

Film stills

Judam, kol gyvi. Jei mes dar gyvi.

Saturday, 26 April 1986. A reactor tower has exploded in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The Communist Party leadership remains silent. But Valery Kabysh, a one-time percussionist and now a young, loyal Party official, observes the panic of those in charge and realizes that every second counts. In this carefree weekend bustle, every attempt to flee is doomed. A wedding that calls for music till the very end. Vera has to sing, the musicians have to play. Even when Valery's band knows what is really going on, they continue to celebrate.

“For a long time I wanted to shoot “filmic metaphor“ about the Chernobyl catastrophe. Not a documentary, not a blockbuster, not a film about who pressed the wrong button when... What really fascinated me was the question as to why people who knew about the catastrophe did not escape the city. Perhaps the danger was invisible? For people who live unreflectingly, obviously, who are satisfied with their everyday lives – for them it is the many little pleasant aspects of life that become increasingly valuable in such circumstances. When life has become intolerable and is reaching its end, it blossoms one last time before it vanishes...”, says Alexander Mindadze.


Berlin Film Festival – in competition, Golden Bear Nomination; Brussels International Film Festival – Young Jury Award and Golden Iris Award.

Aleksandr Mindadze

Director and writer Alexander Mindadze was born in 1949 in Moscow. Since 1975, more than 20 of his screenplays have been adapted. Early in his career he teamed up with acclaimed Russian director Vadim Abdrashitov, with whom he collaborated on eleven films over several decades. The film Plumbum was awarded the golden medal at the Venice Film Festival in 1986, and the Mindadze-Abdrashitov duo won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1995 for the film A Play for a Passenger. In 2007 his first directed feature film Soar premiered at the International Film Festival in Venice. This film obtained two awards, including the film critics' award for best debut film in Russia. Innocent Saturday is the second feature film written and directed by Alexander Mindadze.