Filmform (est. 1950) is dedicated to preservation, promotion and worldwide distribution of experimental film and video art. Constantly expanding, the distribution catalogue spans from 1924 to the present, including works by Sweden’s most prominent artists and filmmakers, available to rent for public screenings and exhibitions as well as for educational purposes.
Maria Zennström knew that the days of her relatives – in that preserved state she loved – were numbered. That’s why she filmed the most beautiful people she met: the poor intelligentsia of Leningrad in the end of the eighties. The film was shot in a cramped flat in a city that was called Leningrad in 1989. Zennström needed a story so she used her family’s. She needed a storyteller and used herself. Today, quite some years later, the people, the city and the country where the film was shot no longer exist. The film becomes a time capsule.
Maria Zennström: ‘I know now that all that hassle about the borders between countries, the travel in time, the bitterness, the question about who is privileged – and not least questions about beauty, have always been going on inside me.’
Born in 1962 in Stockholm, Sweden, where she is still based.
Maria Zennström grew up in Stockholm with a Swedish and a Russian parent. In the 80s, she moved to then Leningrad and stayed in Russia for almost ten years. After having studied at the Moscow Film School, she worked with a feature film. Nowadays she lives in Stockholm and is active as a writer, critic, writing instructor and has also written radio drama. She wrote noted novel Katarina sovjetiska upplevelser (2001), for which she received the Borås newspaper’s debutant prize.
Zennström wrote the manuscript and produced the film Leningrads sista dagar (Last Days of Leningrad): “I knew for a long time that my relatives’ days – in the preserved shape I loved – were counted. Therefore, I recorded a movie about the most beautiful people I have seen, the poor intelligentsia of the Soviet Union at the end of the eighties. The film was recorded in 1989 in an apartment in a city called Leningrad.”