1991 Directed by Vladimir Lubomudrov. Starring Leonid Markov, Tatyana Dogileva, Alexandre Pankratov-Cherny, Olga Tolstaetskaya, Katya Urmancheeva, Rita Shubina.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., June 14, 1991
The world premiere of an independently made Russian film will occur this week in Austin. The film is Hotel Eden and it's a wild, colorful, exuberant splash of political, moral and religious allegory. The story is an old classic. God and the Devil battle for possession of the souls of three virtuous women. The women in question are Vera, Nadezhda and Liubov (Faith, Hope and Love), three outstanding workers rewarded by their trade union with vacations at the seaside resort Hotel Eden. The hotel is a teeming nest of decadence, lust and debauchery. The Devil's in his element and the women are out of theirs. They're ripe for seduction. And the Hotel Eden's such a phantasmagoria of forbidden desires, imaginings and temptations. It's all depicted with the lush hyper-realism of a Fellini circa Juliet of the Spirits. The swirling dream logic reveals a panoply of vivid images that tempt the imagination and fire the senses. The film features numerous established Russian stars in roles that defy regular expectations and conventions. Soviet Russia's first openly gay performer has a role in this movie and, on the whole, Hotel Eden flies in the face of the social order. The film is, no doubt, a political parable adapted to speak to these perestroika times as well as a Christian allegory. Yet it can also be enjoyed on an exclusively visual and aural basis, as a modern retlling of an age-old morality tale.}Director Lubomudrov is a well-established filmmaker in the state-governed Soviet film industry. He was one of thirty staff directors at the country's largest film studio Mosfilm until he left to form his own independent production company Art Man. Perestroika has opened up possibilites for independent production and artistic collaboration. Commercial possibilities include the establishment of a joint venture with American partners called Art Man-Texas to promote and distribute this film.