As the third edition of Cinetrain arrived at its finish line a few weeks ago, it might be just the right time to have a look at one of the first films produced within this unique creative documentary project, which took up the original idea of the Soviet documentary filmmaker Medvedkin, who in the 1930’s pulled a film studio off its stone foundations and reset it inside the train carriage to chronicle lives of his people and open up realms often unattainable in a fixed film studio.
“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? […]” “Second to the right and then straight on till morning”, Between Dreams too seems to have found its own Neverland. A short documentary conceived as part of the first edition of Cinetrain 2008, the films draws upon the parallel between the dreaming and waking worlds. “A cryptic, puzzling, yet ultimately satisfying vignette of our most peaceful and vulnerable state”, the film explores the unsettling dreams of those who share the sojourn of a train on the 9, 500 km ride from Moscow to Vladivostok.
Perched on the dingy wagon beds, fellow travellers recline as the night approaches falling into the arms of Morpheus. Everything around them is enraptured with drowsiness: the objects, the neighbours, the entire décor reads sleep. The jolting noise of a train sluggishly come in sync with the sound of sleep creating a somewhat hypnotic pacing. This beautifully crafted short documentary attempts to unfetter the dark secrets of passengers through the stories of their dreams. Some stories that are given voice are left anonymous, faceless. “I am sitting on a white bench in a white room,” a woman tells. “My sister’s husband enters the room. He has a gun in his hand. I see a bullet fires out in a slow motion towards me. Not long after that dream, he got killed.”
Taking dreams as “part of the adversary’s game” more often than as a harbinger of a good fortune, this 11-minute film hauntingly revisits the characters’ night time foregone experiences that are recurrently resisted in the light of a day.
There is a degree of shadow felt in a film that gives it a certain dark mood evincing the relatively abstruse and little known phenomenon.
Gorged by the land of dreams, the train as if having passed through the sweet circles of Morpheus eventually meets the purple sunrise with a love story of a young woman with a little son by her side who tells how she met the father of her son in a dream a few years back…
2008, Olsson, 11 minutes.