RELEASE DATE: 2018
Involution tells us the story of Hamming and Liv, a couple living in the future. A future that’s reality is a far cry from the one we live in today. The Earth has been sent out of control, affected by a cruel and inhuman mechanism that turns back Darwin’s theory of Evolution… Every person gradually starts to feel animal instincts: uncontrolled aggression, protection of offspring, spontaneous sexual desire. All this creates chaos on the planet and leads directly to the extinction of mankind. Hamming meets Liv right before these horrifying events. And it seems that nothing can stand in the way of their relationship. However, quite soon, Liv disappears, and Hamming has to make an important step – to face the world endangering his very own life in order to find her. Hamming clearly does not fit into the outside world, as his previous life up to this moment was private and as comfortable as can be. Each event means overcoming his internal fears, but he is not going to stop until he finds Liv.
DIRECTED BY PAVEL KHVALEEV
PRODUCED BY FRANK ELLRICH AND OLGA FESHCHENKO
WRITTEN BY ALEXANDRA KHVALEEVA, ANN KUZMINYKH, VLADIMIR BURTCEV
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL KHVALEEV, ANDREY KASHURIN
PRODUCTION DESIGN BY EVGENIA ZAKHAROVA, OLEG MUSTAFIN, MARIA PUSHKOVA
Involution is happening right now. We do not mean to deny the Darwinian theory of evolution, but in order to understand the message of the movie, it is important to acknowledge that every living being undergoes five stages: birth – development – stagnation – degradation – death. And human mankind is not unique. Rather, it is one part of the big picture. I feel that we are at the turn of stagnation and degradation right now, and “Involution” is a hypertrophic illustration of potential consequences of a radical loss of human values in our society. It is crucial to prevent these events and to be aware of the indifference, cruelty, and aggression in us – qualities that can lead thereto if they become too dominant. I believe that love is the strongest and the most unique human feeling which has a barrier effect against self-destruction. This is what our story is about.
The theory of involution disproves the Darwinian theory. We believe that evolution is followed by involution and that it is not an either/or thing. It shall be noted that we came across the theory of involution only when the screenplay synopsis had already been written and we were working on the script structure. From that perspective, we would make a great mistake if we did not invite one of the advocates of this hypothesis – Alexander Belov – to act in one of the episodes. Therefore, you will see an interview with him in the movie.
A poem by Valery Bryusov was chosen for the prologue and epilogue of our story. It is basically a letter to representatives of other civilizations written by mankind on the eve of their death. There is a line about our planet: “Under the burden of centuries, tired for long, Unfruitfully dreaming of a different thing.”
A possible interpretation thereof could be that the Earth has long been tired of what people do with it: carless use of resources, exploitation, endless wars, discrimination. Since the Earth is only a small piece of the entire Universe, it gives a message to residents of other planets in the form of a desperate warning.
As for the visual imagery, I resort to the most popular method to represent characters’ subconscious thoughts, that is dreams. In these two scenes, there is a reference to the works of Zdislav Beksinsky when inspiration derives from dreams and the method of free associations is used just like dreams occur.