Before I provide my readers with a full review of Zaritsas: Russian Women in New York, I'd like to give New Yorker-Russian Filmmaker Elena Beloff a shout out. I recently placed an instrumental piece "Quiet & Wine", in her new documentary Zaritsas. The film was produced by Vincent D'onofrio.
The filmmaker Elena Beloff is a Russian woman who has lived in New York for ten years. Her film explores stereotypes of Russian women which emerged in the 1990’s, unfortunate stereotypes that arose from the media and hearsay. Elena’s method was to follow five Russian women for six months interviewing each one in her environment: a rapper in a Sheepsheadbay Church, a salesperson at La Perla Madison Avenue Boutique, a model at home, a showgirl at a Brighton Beach Restaurant and an exotic dancer at Scores Strip Club. This film develops on its own as the viewer sees the stereotypes dissolve and the flesh and blood woman comes to life.
Suddenly, the viewer is confronted by these several women whose experiences pose questions of spirituality and self-discovery as they come to vivid life on the New York scene.