Die Filmarbeit umfaßt Dokumentarfilme, die seit dem Ende der 70er Jahre entstanden sind -  beginnend mit Fernsehfilmen auf der Achse Moskau - New York (bzw. US-Ostküste); seit den 90er Jahren handelt es sich dann überwiegend  um Dokumentarfilme im Kinoformat, nach 2000 ganz ohne Fernsehbeteiligung und -einfluß.




Hughesoffka - Letters from the Wild Field

Briefe aus dem Wilden Feld

D 2009 · 84 min

Donetzk, Hauptstadt des Donbass, vielbesungener Sowjetmythos, ist britischen Ursprungs.
Der  Waliser John Hughes begann 1870 mit 100 britischen Ingenieuren die Kohlevorkommen zu erschließen und die Stahlindustrie im Donetzker Becken aufzubauen. In kürzester Zeit erlebt die öde Grenzregion einen rasanten Aufschwung. Man spricht von einem Neuen Amerika.
Fast 50 Jahre herrscht Hughes mit seinen Söhnen uneingeschränkt in Hughesoffka (Juzovka).Nach der Revolution werden die Spuren der Briten getilgt. Aus Juzovka wird Stalino.

1929 entsteht Dziga Vertovs Donbass Sinfonie: Kohlegruben, Stahlproduktion, Maschinen - dynamisch montiert. Der neue Glaube gilt der Materie. Die Kirche wird Kino, Hochspannungsmast statt Kreuz, unter Beifall werden Ikonen verbrannt, Kirchenkuppeln gestürzt, eine Leninbüste von junger Frauenhand gemeißelt...

Heute strömen im Donbass die Menschen in die aufgebauten Kirchen bzw. die neue Moschee.
Fußballer anstelle von Bergarbeitern posieren als neue Helden.
Die Donbass-Arena für den FC Shakhtar Donetzk entsteht mitten im Stadtzentrum, unweit davon ein erstes John-Hughes-Denkmal.
Die neuen Unternehmer besinnen sich gern wieder auf den kapitalistischen Gründungsvater von Donetzk.
Er hatte übrigens seinerzeit den Fußball in den Donbass gebracht - ein bereits in Wales bewährtes Mittel gegen die Trunksucht.

Das Archiv in Cardiff hütet die Zeugnisse jener  "walisischen Zeit", Briefe und Photos vom Leben in der fremden, russischen Steppe.


seeing is believing -
a documentary about vision,
neuroscience and filmmaking 

D/L 2005, 86 min, 35 mm, 5 reels, 1:1.66, Dolby digital


However fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything.
"I wonder if all the things move along with us",
thought poor puzzled Alice.
And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, 
"Faster! Don't try to talk!"  
Lewis Carrol

Ladies’ Choice

Scenes from the Civilized West

1999 , 80 min, 35mm, colour
Photographed by Thomas Plenert and Victor Kossakovsky
Produced by Viola Stephan Filmproduktion
Distributor: Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek
Premiere: Berlinale (Forum) 2000

I Loved You...
(Three Romances)

Ya Vas lyubil...(Tri romansa)
102 min, Digibeta, b/w and colour

Directed, photographed and edited by Victor Kossakovsky

This trilogy was shot on three different formats which are given below. The first and third parts have been shown and awarded as separate films. "Pavel and Lyalya" is available as a 35mm print and "Kindergarten" on Digibeta.

First Part: Pavel and Lyalya (Jerusalem Romance)
(Pavel i Lyalya - Ierusalimsky romans)
30 min, 35mm, b/w
Second Part: Sergey and Natasha (Provincial Romance)
(Sergey i Natasha -Provintsialny romans)
20 min, Super 16, colour
Third Part: Kindergarten. Sasha and Katya (First Romance)
(Detsky sad. Sasha i Katya - Pervy romans)
52 min, DV, colour

With Lyrics by Alexander Pushkin and Music by Aleksandr Dragomyzhsky


(from the catalogue of the 30th International Film Festival

Love is not unequivocal, it is experienced by everyone in different ways ateach moment in life. But it is always intense, it brings beauty, joy andsorrow. Few are able to portray that as strikingly as documentary-makerVictor Kossakovsky. He demonstrates that with his trilogy I LOVED YOU, aboutthe relationships between two old people, two newly-weds and two children.The thread linking the three independent love stories is formed by songssung by Ivan Kozlovsky to lyrics by Alexander Pushkin, about trust, love andbroken hearts. The first part, PAVEL AND LYALYA (JERUSALEM ROMANCE) is themoving story of Lyalya who tends her fatally ill husband Pavel in acheerfully matter-of-fact way and with endless patience. In SERGEY ANDNATASHA (PROVINCIAL ROMANCE), the wedding day of two lovers is filmed. Theyhave chosen each other despite their sceptical families. SASHA AND KATYA(FIRST ROMANCE) is a dramatic jewel about love, treachery andheart-rendering sorrow at the infant school.The images are of a simple and impressive beauty. Kossakovsky has a sharpeye for the non-verbal expressions of the deepest emotions. He looks with somuch love and commitment that there is never any question of voyeurism. Hisinvolvement is sometimes very explicit: twice the director bursts out cryingbehind his camera. However maybe he is not crying, but there are, as Katyasays, "just falling tears".


"An excellent triptych by the outstanding Russian director Victor Kossakovsky, crassly given a late slot ... for its enchanting final section."
The Sunday Times
/ GB, 31. Dezember 2000

"...quality documentary that wanders into the feature film genre....arthouse masterpiece that scoops loads of awards at film festivals..."
Evening Standard
/ GB, 31. Dezember 2000

"Victor Kossakovsky’s picture of three different romances is simply stated and moving..."
Daily Telegraph
/ GB, 2. Januar 2000

"... the film ... embraces extremes of experience and, by focusing on the narrow and particular, expresses the universal. It is an extraordinary experience to see television so demanding, so beautiful and so rich."
The Times
/ GB, 30. Dezember 2000


Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2001
First Prize for Foreign Film
Montreal International Festival of Cinema and New Media
Best Documentary

WEDNESDAY - 19.7.1961

SREDA, 19.VII.1961 directed, photographed and edited by Victor Kossakovsky
1997, 93 min, 35 mm, colour
[5 reels, 2.556m, screen ratio: 1:1,66]

Original Music:Alexander Popov
Music Group:Strannye Igry
Sound:Leonid Lerner
Producer:Viola Stephan
Production Manager:Elena Rejzentul
A SREDA FILM Production
in co-operation with ZDF Mainz/ARTE, BBC London, ROSKOMKINO Moscow, DOCSTUDIOS St. Petersburg, YLEISRADIO Helsinki and Eurimages


"... revealing documentary mosaic about life in St. Petersburg..." The New York Times, 11. April 1998

"Bilder erzeugen Bilder, Töne verbinden sich mit Tönen (...); so verbinden sich die einzelnen Einstellungen und Personen in einer Montage von grosser Genauigkeit und pulsgenauem Rhythmus zu einer Erzählung, die in ihrem epischen und poetischen Gehalt dem 'Ulysses' von James Joyce ebenbürtig ist." Wochenzeitung, 7.März 1998

"Kossakovsky ist es gelungen, fühlenden Menschen jene Freude und jenen Schmerz spüren zu lassen, um deren willen allein Kino gemacht wird; er lässt sie über jene Dinge nachdenken, über die sie nicht nachdenken wollen." Seans, Nr. 16, 1998


Wednesday, July 19, 1961: it’s summertime and the newspapers are full of the usual articles. The world is comfortably embedded in the Cold War. An average day in Leningrad. 51 girls and 50 boys are born in Leningrad on this day.
One of them is Victor Kossakovsky. Why here and not somewhere else? Why then and not another time? These questions are the starting point for his film. Could it be that this child was mistaken for another in hospital? Who are all the people who began their lives on that same day? Do they somehow share the same fate or are they merely contemporaries?

"I spent a whole year tracking down the other hundred people born that day. Some of them are no longer alive, some have moved away from the city, still others have emigrated. Over half of this group, however, are still living in this city, now known as St. Petersburg. There are thin ones and more corpulent ones, some with lots of children and others who are single, some who are poor, some who are successful. Some are garrulous, others reticent. There are patient and doctors among them. Some are in the business of selling while others are consumers. There are car drivers and pedestrians in the group, artists and businessmen, a builder and someone who is homeless; a prisoner and an investigating magistrate; left-wingers and right-wingers; those who have religion and those who don’t. And we are all about to turn 36 years of age.”
Victor Kossakovsky, 1996