How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire

"Very Good"

How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire Review


Like a less-gimmicky, more goofy Morgan Spurlock, Edelstyn puts himself at the centre of this documentary telling two stories: of his grandparents' journey across Europe and his own discovery of an old family business and his work to revive it. It's an engaging, personal story full of moving details.

It all starts when Edelstyn finds a box of manuscripts and letters by his Ukrainian grandmother. Lost for 100 years, they outline how the family's wealthy life ended with the 1917 Russian Revolution. Then he travels to Ukraine to find out more about his family's sugar factory, which is now closed. But the locals reveal that there was another factory, a still-working vodka distillery.

As he decides to revive the business and import the vodka into Britain, Phis artist partner owell discovers that she's pregnant.

And to tell the story, Edelstyn uses combines a variety of film styles, from archive footage and photos to wacky re-enactments of historical events in which they play his grandparents. Getting friends to play his ancestors and various extras, he inventively recreates events unsung miniatures, animation and lots of green screen spliced in with real footage from both the past and present.

And he finds interesting parallels between this story a young woman during the 1917 revolution and his own journey.

Edenstyn assembles this with sharp wit that plays on Russian cinema and culture. As he travels into rural Ukraine, he encounters real Slavic hospitality, including rather a lot of vodka-shot drinking, and he meets meets a very old woman who remembers his grandmother. But he also discovers that the recent closure of the sugar factory has drained the life out of the village. So relaunching the family vodka in the name of Granny Maroussia is a way to redress history.

This is a thoroughly intriguing film that entertains us with its inventive approach while exploring the ethical and historical implications. And as we follow him through the red tape in present-day Ukraine, we also see Granny Maroussia navigating the bureaucracy of her time. What emerges is a fairly standard story of European migration in the 20th century made much more personal by the way it echoes in Edelstyn's life, leading to births, deaths and the launch of Zorokovich 1917 Vodka in the UK.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 75 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th March 2012

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Daniel Edelstyn

Producer: Daniel Edelstyn, Christopher Hird, Hilary Powell

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.