ONCE UPON A TIME… LITTLE ODESSA
|David Thompson, Serge July
|Image and sound
|Sam Alkadi, Justin Evans, Guillaume Tunzini, Lucas Millard
|Folamour – ARTE France – 2013
- James GRAY, director
- Jordan MINTZER, film critic
- Paul WEBSTER, producer
- Tim ROTH, actor, role of Joshua
- Vanessa REDGRAVE, actress, role of the mother, (archives)
- Tom RICHMOND, Director of Photography
Portrait of a film: A New York hired killer returns to his childhood neighbourhood to carry out a contract, but the local mafia has put a price tag on his head. There he finds his father, who drove him out of the family home, his dying mother, and his younger brother who’s left to fend for himself. This thriller paved with tragedy, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell and Tim Roth, tells the story of the bloody collapse of a family. The title, Little Odessa, originates from the Brooklyn neighbourhood where Russian and Ukrainian immigrants of Jewish origin live.
Portrait of an era: In the late 1980s, the United States experienced a strong influx of immigrants from the USSR, then in the midst of perestroika. Many Russian mafia groups were among the emigrants. At that time, New York was experiencing an economic recession and a very significant rise in crime. Elected in 1994, Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made the fight against crime a central tenet of his policy.
Portrait of a filmmaker: Little Odessa, winner of the Silver Lion at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, is James Gray’s first film, which he directed at the age of 25. Born into a Ukrainian-Jewish family, his film is partly autobiographical. After Little Odessa , which became a cult film, James Gray began an international career. Several of his films were selected at the Cannes Film Festival.