- Golden Globe Awards
Quarantine (Russia, Finland)
What are the five most important things on a man’s mind during isolation? According to the dystopian drama Quarantine, his mind is wrapped around thoughts of diseases, hygiene, rules, food and suicide. The film’s main character, Felix, played by Russian actor Anatoly Bely, has been living by himself in a bunker for two decades. He is writing a diary and, in his mind, relives over and over again the apocalyptic events that have destroyed Earth. The feeling of guilt does not leave him, as he believes that he could have prevented both the catastrophe and the death of a loved one.
The film is directed by Finnish artist Diana Ringo. Her background is in music: she started to study piano as a child, and her original music was featured in the Hong Kong-Malaysian drama Million Loves in MeQuarantine, her first feature movie, while she was in Covid-19 lockdown in Vienna. She also produced, edited and composed the movie, as well as acting in some quiet scenes that were filmed in nature, mostly in Finland.
In the film’s production notes she says that she felt the need to tell an apocalyptic story because the issues of quarantine, lockdown and vaccination have become so politicized, leaving things painted black and white. She wanted to save not only lives but also souls, and dived deep to explore issues like humanism, freedom, faith and conscience. These matters are addressed mainly in monologues by Felix. Her goal was also to show what can happen if events continue to develop in the same direction that they seem to be going; what we can come to if we are not aware of our responsibility to humanity and ourselves.
“I wanted to make the viewer imagine what the lack of resistance to evil from the outside and from within oneself can lead to,” she has said. “To defeat evil, one must first defeat it from within.”