It’s Getting Dark

The story of five families of political prisoners across Russia through time

About the movie

The setting is a Russian living room. The children are playing a game, their father is cooking and the baby is lying fast asleep. The only person missing is their mother. She has just been arrested, charged with state treason and is now facing up to 20 years in prison. The camera captures this scene and others like it in four different living rooms where fractured families try to go about their daily lives. It’s the very ordinariness of the images that makes the absence of one parent so tangible. In the background, we hear telephone conversations that betray the feelings of powerlessness and despair. The domestic scenes are intercut with shots of the street through the window, accompanied by the reading of letters from Soviet political prisoners to their children. Blackboard drawings tell the story of the absent parents, each sentenced to jail terms ranging from four to eight years. Officially, their crime was treason or drug possession, but all they actually did was to express criticism of government policy at some point. The domestic scenes draw attention to these ordinary citizens who simply disappear behind bars for years, offering an alternative and poignant perspective on the notion of the “political prisoner.”


Available for streaming and download at Amazon

DocuTIFF – Tirana International Film Festival, 2017

Award for the Best Debut Film

on LCP-Assemblée nationale TV channel

Tempo Documentary Festival, Stockholm, 2017
ZAGREBDOX International documentary film festival, 2017
Russian Open Documentary Film Festival Artdocfest, 2016
IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2016


Olga Kravets

Olga Kravets / Director and Producer

Olga Kravets (born 1984 in Moscow, then USSR) is a documentary filmmaker and photographer, based in Paris. She focuses on long-term projects covering the subjects of human rights and conflict.

Kravets started as a photographer in 2007 and got interested in moving image while shooting for the web documentary Grozny: Nine Cities that was awarded Prix Bayeux-Calvados for War Correspondents in 2014.

She has produced two award-winning VICE documentaries, Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia and Israel’s Radical Left, among others.

Sylvie Brenet

Sylvie Brenet / Producer

Born in 1971 in Marseille, France, Sylvie Brenet is a graduate of Sciences Po and also has degrees in audiovisual entrepreneurship and European studies. She owes her taste for documentaries to five years spent in Marseille, from 1998 to 2002, with the Festival International du Documentaire de Marseille (FID); where she eventually became the deputy artistic director.

She then moved into production, working on short and mid-length fiction for Arte, France Télévisions et Canal + including l’Ecluse and Le Temps des cerises that were selected for the International Critic’s Week of the Cannes Film Festival.

Sylvie worked for the Les Films d’Ici and Elzévir et Cie production companies as a documentary producer before setting up her own company, Les Films du Sillage, in 2016. Among the titles she has worked on are Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi’s Barbaric Land (Locarno 2013), Bernard Mangiante’s Le Khmer Rouge et le Non-violent (Europa 2012 award), Colombe Schnek’s Les Vieux Amoureux, Fred Ménant and Eric Guéret’s Insoumises, Lucas Menget’s Inside Baghdad and Angela Ricci Lucchi’s Voyages en Russie.

Nikita Pavlov

Nikita Pavlov / Director of Photography

Filmmaker, DoP, photographer based in Berlin. Born in 1982 in Moscow, Russia, he was working as a photographer in Russia and Israel for more than 10 years, holding the position of staff photographer with the Seance film magazine and publishing house since 2004, and working as a freelancer for various magazines.

With the Seance publishing house he made two books with the portraits of Russian film makers. Eventually he shifted to cinema while studying at Musrara — The Naggar School of Photography and New Media in Jerusalem, Israel. In 2011 he scripted, directed and filmed feature documentary When New Year Comes on Shabbat, which premiered at Jihlava film festival. Since then he has moved to Berlin and worked as cinematographer on documentary, features and video movies.

Qutaiba Barhamji

Qutaiba Barhamji / Editor

Qutaiba was born in Damascus in 1982 and spent his childhood between Syria and Russia. He studied to become a doctor in the University of Volgograd and later graduated with a degree in cinema from ESEC Ecole Supérieure d’Études Cinématographiques in Paris.

He works as a film editor for short films and engaging documentaries. He  speaks four languages fluently and has edited films in 11 languages.

Among his projects are Andrei Schtakleff’s La Montagne Magique (FID /ROTTERDAM 2015), Toomas Järvet’s Rough Stage (IDFA 2015), Alexey Sukhovei’s Guests (Jihlava 2015). In 2015 he directed his first short film Wardé.

Robin The Fog

Robin The Fog / Composer

Robin The Fog (born 1980) is a sound artist and radio producer based in London. His work largely falls under the broad term ‘Radiophonics’ and includes field recording, radiophonic composition and documentary. Robin believes that the best work for radio encompasses and blurs the boundaries between these things.

Over the past couple of years, his production work has included bespoke sound designs for several BBC Radio 4 dramas, numerous broadcast packages for Radio 4 and BBC World Service, as well as contributions to Radio 3’s Between The Ears, Deutsche Welle, ABC Australia, Monocle, Resonance FM and many more. As part of the duo Howlround he has released five LPs to date of musique concréte created entirely with reel-to-reel tape machines.


Official facebook:

Official website:

In English and Russian: Olga Kravets  / +33 751 376 216

In French: Sylvie Brenet  /  +33 672 351 854

Sales: Anne Littardi / BELIANE / +33 977 21 91 35 / +33 663 13 95 01