“The 1999 war between Chechnya and Russia has not been discussed in detail in film. I wanted to speak on the extremely sore topic in the cinema language. The conflict claimed a large number of lives, leaving many injured. In the movie, you will not find a secret political message, as my attempt was to look at the nightmare through the eyes of both sides at war and direct a film that would be as human as possible,” the director said in a communiqué circulated by organizers of the festival.
The world première of the film was at Cannes in 2014.
Hazanavicius gained world fame in 2011 with his silent film, The Artist. In 2012, it won five Oscars, including for the best picture.
Hazanavicius was born and raised in Paris. His grandparents were Jews from Lithuania who moved to France in the 1920s.