Interpretation of Dreams

Festivals and Awards

The Freudian feature documentary Interpretation of Dreams, produced during perestroika, introduced for the first time the world of Freud’s ideas to audiences in the former Soviet Union, since his works were banned by Communist censorship. The film juxtaposed a dialog between the filmmaker and the patriarch himself and the history of the Soviet Union and Europe.

Vienna, Bergasse 19. Waiting in Sigmund Freud's reception room: assistant Gennady Shevelenko, dir. Andrei Zagdansky (center), D/P Vladimir Guyevsky. August 1989.

*DocuDays, Kiev, 2014
Andrei Zagdansky retrospective

* "Dali & Beyond" Film Series 
Salvador Dali Museum, Saint Petersburg, 
Florida, 2009

* Film Series "Ver Sin Vertov" (Without Vertov) LA Casa Encendida
Madrid, 2005.

* "Glasnost" Film Series for The Film Society at Lincoln Center, New York, 1997

* Film Forum, Limited Release, 
New York, 1992

* New Directors/New Films Series 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1991

* San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 1991

* London Jewish Film Festival, 1991

* New York Jewish Film Festival, 1991

* Krakow International Film Festival, 1991

* IDFA, Opening Night, Amsterdam, 1990

* Robert Flaherty International Film Seminar, 1990 and 1991

*Grand Prix All-Union Documentary Film Festival, Voronezh, USSR, 1990

Tolkovanie snovideniy (1991) on IMDb

"Interesting" and "provocative"
Vincent Canby, The New York Times 

"A strange and superb film"
Matthew Flamm, New York Post

"Astonishing marriage of Freudian thinking and history”
Boston Globe

"A truly magical and extraordinary film…" 
Cinema Independent, London.

"A film for intellectuals, packed with consequential ideas" 
Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle.


"The Soviet Union’s collapse, and the turmoil, and the mental and moral disarray, that ensued in the region, initially led to a spate of (mostly pedophilic) pornographic films and, worse, hateful, reactionary, proto-tsarist assaults, nearly all of them strident, coarse and incompetently made. Preferable are honest, serious films that address aspects of the Soviet regime, or Soviet society and daily life, in an analytical rather than an attack mode. One of these is Andrei Zagdansky’s documentary The Interpretation of Dreams (1990) which, in a stream of haunting images both archival and new, celebrates the dissolution of the Soviet ban on Sigmund Freud’s writings. Now that Russians can freely access what are possibly the most essential documents for understanding the twentieth century, they can record their own fresh discovery of these works, perhaps most pertinently Totem and Taboo, and apply it to Soviet history. This in fact is what Zagdansky has done. The unspoken irony throughout this highly imaginative film is the deficit of perspective and insight that the ban on Freud enforced on the Soviet Union".
Dennis Grunes.

Key credits 

Directed by 
Andrei Zagdansky
Sergei Yursky
Story Editor 
Yuri Makarov
Vladimir Guevsky
Olga Gubskaya
Music Supervisor 
Yulia Lazarevskaya
52 Minutes
A co-production of 
Film Studio "Thursday", Ukraine and ORF, Austria
© 1989 Film Studio "Thursday"


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