LFF Official Competition spotlight: Loveless

Get up to speed with the films playing in competition at this year’s BFI London Film Festival. Today’s pick: Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless.


Watch the trailer for Loveless (2017)

What’s it about?

A 12-year-old boy disappears from a broken home in Leviathan director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s fresh dissection of Russian society. The Jury prize-winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Zvyagintsev’s story follows Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Alexei Rozin), co-habiting exes who’ve neglected their son, Alyosha, in pursuit of new partners and (materially) richer lives. The toxic effect of sadness and disappointment drips down through the generations. Alyosha was lost before he vanished.

Who made it?

Originally from Novosibirsk, Siberia, Zvyagintsev moved to Moscow before beginning a career as a TV and theatre actor. In 2003 he directed his debut film The Return, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. His most recent film before Loveless, Leviathan, an allegory for Russian political corruption, was a critical hit.

What people are saying

“The small story at hand offers an opaque but pitiless critique on Russia at large”
— Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“A piercing and poignant expression of simple cinematic poetry”
— Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

Why we’re excited

“When programming the Festival we always track with great expectation the films of Festival alumni, especially previous award winners. We are thrilled that Andrey Zvyagintsev is returning to the Festival after he won the Best Film Award for Leviathan, a film that is equally profound in its critique of contemporary Russian society. Where Leviathan was sweeping in its scope, Loveless is more intimate in scale, but no less powerful in its cinematic impact.”
— Clare Stewart, Festival Director

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