Writer/Director: Maryna Ajaja
There’s no cure for art.
Too Much History is a short film centered on a piece of art: Mihail Chemiakin’s The Monument to Victims of Political Repression erected near the infamous Soviet prison Kresty in St. Petersburg. It is a story about American Anna, passionate about Russian culture living in Russia with Russian Misha. When Anna’s nineteen-year-old American son Cooper comes to visit her, the three of them search for the monument somewhere near the Neva River and the prison, one of the most grandiose architectural areas in the city. While searching, they discover how the past can haunt a place and how they can better understand each other.
“In this short film, we intend to show the importance of knowing about history. Freedom of speech is also our theme and we are concerned about the current Cold War rhetoric in America and abroad. As human beings, we need to find ways to communicate and understand different
cultures. We need to talk about the power and dangers of free speech, an especially relevant theme now. We want to show younger generations what has happened in the past, the places where it has happened, and to remind them not to forget. That is the “why” of this project.”
Maryna Ajaja has been a film programmer at The Seattle International Film Festival for twenty years. She deals with feature, documentary, and short films from around the globe, specializing in Ex-Bloc cinema.