Whilst Eric Bergkraut puts the audience in Khodorkovsky’s place, in the film My friend Boris Nemtsov (2015) we identify with its young Russian director Zosya Rodkevich – both as film maker and object of desire for the female-loving politician.

The Nemtsov assassination on 27 February 2015, at the bridge in front of the Kremlin, frames the film. We are introduced to the circumstances surrounding Nemtsov’s death through the naive questions and reflections of a bright Russian girl sitting on her father’s shoulders during the commemorative march across the fateful bridge.

Finally, we are part of the funeral, Nemtsov in an open casket surrounded by grieving family, friends and supporters. The contrast between Nemtsov’s dead body and the lively persona we got to know through Rodkevich’s personal portrait is immense.

We follow Rodkevich’s camera lens from the moment she is introduced to Nemtsov at the station prior to a train journey. The director’s prologue states that as a 22-year old journalist she applied to work on a film project about Nemtsov. All her prejudices about a narcissistic, conservative politician disappeared. An obviously enamoured and funny Nemtsov invites her to share his compartment alone – initiating the flirt which carries the film.


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