Boris Ryzhy 2000, by Pieter Vandermeer

Boris Ryzhy 2000, by Pieter Vandermeer

The Russian poet Boris Ryzhy (1974-2001) was handsome, gifted and achieved already considerable literary fame in his country. So why did he take his own life at the age of 26? A quest to find the answer takes the filmmaker to the criminal neighbourhood in the cold industrial city of Yekaterinburg where Boris grew up. Through conversations with neighbours, family and friends, she pieces together a picture of the passionate and complex life of the poet. What emerges is a penetrating portrait of the perestroika generation, who lost all certainties, becoming a generation of criminals and bodyguards. But despite all, Ryzhy loved this unhappy world, populated half by prisoners and half by their guards. He tried to transform its ugliness into the philosophers gold of poetic prosody.

59 minutes. DoP/editing with Maasja Ooms, produced by  Zeppers Film+TV, sounddesign Tom Bijnen, commissioning editor Saskia van Schaik

Premiered at IDFA 2008, screened at more than 30 filmfestivals, broadcasted by Dutch Public TV, VPRO  in 2009 

IDFA Best Midlength Documentary Award 2008,  Best Feature Documentary Edinburgh Int. Filmfestival 2009, Jury Prize FIFA Montréal 2009, Dutch Filmcritic's Award KNF 2009, Dutch Directors Guild Award 2009 

More background information and poetry


A very personal, moving and shocking film. Behind the apparently small subject matter are big, universal questions. It opens doors that remain closed" 

Jury of the Dutch Film Critics Award 2009