Moment of Impact

Moment of Impact by Julia Loktev

USA, 1998, 117 minutes, 16mm

Julia Loktev, the director of the critically acclaimed The Loneliest Planet (New York Film Festival 2011) and Cannes award-winning Day Night Day Night made her extraordinary debut with this sui generis documentary, an intimate family triptych. Loktev gets up close and personal with her parents after a freak accident immobilizes her father and renders her mother a full-time caregiver. What emerges, in carefully wrought 16mm black-and-white, is a candid, tough-minded, and moving portrait of individuals, relationships, and the crosscurrents of past and future in a difficult present. – Nicolas Rapold

As discomforting as it is brilliant. Shot with a handheld home video camera, the film is an intimate, unsparing view of a dread situation.-Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE

What’s central here isn’t Leonid’s condition, but Larisa’s reaction, which comes across not just in her actions but also in long, nighttime conversations she has with Julia, lying side by side on a rumpledsheet. Larisa is a smart, strong woman who allows herself not an ounce of self-pity. She refuses to be called heroic. . . . At the end, it’s hard not to be impressed by Larisa’s stoic realism and Julia’s risky effort to take an esthetic view of such deeply personal material.-Godfrey Cheshire, VARIETY


Julia Loktev was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia. When she was nine, her family immigrated to the U.S., settling in Loveland, Colorado. While in university in Montreal, Julia was a DJ at an alternative radio station, which led to creating her own audio art works. She moved to New York to pursue filmmaking. Moment of Impact, her first feature, won several prizes including the Directing Award at Sundance, the Grand Prize at Cinéma du Reél in Paris, and Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary, and screened in numerous festivals including Locarno, New Directors/New Films and Pusan. Her fiction debut Day Night Day Night premiered in Directors Fortnight at Cannes, where it won the Youth Prize and was nominated for two Gotham Awards, Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor. Her latest film, The Loneliest Planet, is a selection of this year’s New York Film Festival and has also shown at Toronto and Locarno. Julia also makes multiple-screen video installations that have been exhibited in a visual art context, including at Tate Modern in London, P.S.1 in New York, Haus der Kunst in Munich, Bienal de Valencia, and Mito Art Tower in Japan. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Nicolas Rapold is associate editor at Film Comment and has written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, and Sight & Sound. He co-programs the Overdue series at the 92YTribeca and has also programmed work at the Museum of the Moving Image and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.


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  1. Saturday’s “Moment of Impact” is AltScreen’s Editor Pick.

    Comment by UnionDocs on October 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm

  2. Great write-up in L-Magazine too!

    Comment by UnionDocs on October 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm

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