This film is about the life of 6-year-old Anna during World War II. Amid the mass, co-ordinated execution of Jewish people, her parents were killed. Anna miraculously survives because her mother covered the little girl’s body with her own. Anna spent a few years living in a disused chimney in the Commandant’s office, from her shelter she watched as life passed by until the village was liberated from the Nazis. In these inhuman conditions, Anna doesn’t just survive but somehow holds on to her humanity. Many factors helped her; memories from her past life, swept away by war, the cultural foundations laid by her parents and one friend who saved her from loneliness. This little girl’s story, from World War II is still relevant today. Every day the endless stream of war and conflict is ripping many children’s lives apart – their homes burn and their parents die. In the midst of fear and destruction, children are being forced to fight their own battles for survival. The child who must face the violence of war represents one of the greatest tragedies facing today’s world – a subject that must be remembered and discussed.

Director's Statement

A little Jewish girl and the Second World War.
One and only hero.

Cinematic space is limited to the insides of a fireplace, and the geography of events is limited to the classroom of a village school that had been turned into a Nazi commandant’s office. Inside the fireplace the girl finds a safe place where she makes a nest for herself. A home. Outside is an insane world of adults. We see it’s reflection in a bubbly amalgam on the old mirror. 

This is the story of survival and victory. 

Robinson Crusoe had it easier: he was an adult, he wasn’t alone, and he had a whole island for himself. Anna is six years old, no one is there to help her, and there is only a small chance of finding food at the commandant’s office. Thirst and hunger are a constant in Anna’s life. There are no flashbacks in the film because the past is dead. There is no future. There is only the present. Only what happens now is significant. 

The film isn’t black and white. Anna is a child and so there are many bright colours around her. The walls of the old school are blue and green. In the classroom there is a lot of red. On set there are many authentic Soviet school objects from the 30s and 40s. 

The soundscape of the film is diverse, there are dialogues from the Commandant’s office workers: Germans, Ukrainians, Russians. Also present are voices of soldiers: Germans, Frenchmen, Hungarians, Romanians. The German radio plays the propaganda programs and music. Neither the viewer nor Anna can understand it all but it makes no difference. What matters is located inside the fireplace, in the world of Anna. Her beautiful world is reaching further and further and soon it will encompass the entire planet Earth – and Anna will win the World War. 

Director's Biography

Aleksey Fedorchenko is a famous Russian film director, scriptwriter, producer. He is one of the central figures in the Russian independent new auteur films wave. He has numerous international awards for his achievements both as director and scriptwriter.

Aleksey Fedorchenko was born in 1966 in Sol-Iletsk, in the Orenburg region of Siberia.
He has degrees in Engineering and Economics (Ural Polytechnic Institute) and in Film Studies & Scriptwriting from VGIK (Russian State University of Cinematography), the most prestigious film institute in Russia and Eastern Europe, which is the world’s oldest film school.

Originally getting involved in the film industry from a financial background in 1990 (when he had become the deputy director of Sverdlovsk Film Studio), Aleksey Fedorchenko moved into the studio’s production department. Since 2000 he has managed and participated in the production of over 80 films. Since 2004 Aleksey Fedorchenko is a co-owner, chief film director and the general producer of 29th February Film Company.

2018 - ANNA'S WAR
2002 - DAVID

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Aleksey Fedorchenko

Written by: Aleksey Fedorchenko, Nataliya Meshchaninova

Produced by: Andrey Saveliev, Artem Vassiliev, Maxim Lojevsky, Dmitriy Vorobyev, Alexander Yashnik

Cinematography: Alisher Khamidkhodzhaev

Editing: Pavel Khanyutin, Hervé Schneid

Production Design: Alexei Maximov

Costume Design: Olga Gusak

Make-Up & Hair: Polina Statsenko

Original Score: Vladimir Komarov, Atsuo Matsumoto

Sound Design: Vincent Arnardi

Visual Effects: Andrey Chechetkin

Cast: Marta Kozlova (Anna)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2018