Mystery a film by Andrey Zvyagintsev. 2011, Russia, 6 min. With Irina Barinova and Igor Evseev. A gripping psychological encounter and five minutes of mastery from the acclaimed Russian director.


This week, we’re presenting a short film directed by the Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev who — with his fifth and latest feature, Loveless — is nominated for the second time for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Loveless, which won Cannes’ Jury prize last year, opens this weekend in New York and Los Angeles. Zvyagintsev’s films are grand, honest, and sophisticated, both in their filmmaking and in the treatment of their subjects. They present a gripping portrait of contemporary Russia, examining themes of family and morality, with sharp sociopolitical commentary.



Made in 2011, Mystery gives us a sneak peak into Zvyagintsev’s command of the art form. The short depicts a woman meeting the private eye she has hired to investigate her husband, exploring the psychological questions and consequences of such an encounter. Mystery was commissioned for Experiment 5IVE by Wrigley, for a series of five 5-minute films by Russian directors. Zvyagintsev mastered the short exercise, bringing depth, mood, and suspense to a scene between two people.


“What I know is that I am honest about my films, and my films are honest about reality. The stories themselves dictate the way they should be told.” ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV


Andrey Zvyagintsev was born in Siberia. He began his studies and career in film as an actor. In 2003, he directed his debut feature The Return, a mystery-filled reunion between two teenagers and their fathers, which received several awards, including a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He has been since hailed as the heir to Andrei Tarkovsky – an honor to which Zvyagintsev has replied, “It’s impossible for any Russian filmmaker not to be inspired by Tarkovsky.” Every one of Zvyagintsev’s subsequent films premiered in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival: The Banishment (2007), Elena (2011), Leviathan (2014), and Loveless. Zvyagintsev’s films have won countless awards; Leviathan won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. If you haven’t seen the work of Andrey Zvyagintsev, we strongly encourage you to discover his unique, brilliant voice.

Credits for
Irina Barinova & Igor Evseev
written by
Oleg Negin
produced by
Karina Kabanova & Artyom Vasilev
Mikhail Krichman
Andrey Dergachev