CANCELED: Twelve Chairs

(Zwölf Stühle)

All film screenings and public programs at BAMPFA have been temporarily canceled. Learn more

Digital Restoration


Georgi Deliev, Genadi Skarga, Svetlana Dyagilyeva, Boris Raev,

In her glorious adaptation of Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov’s 1920s Soviet satirical novel, director/cinematographer Ottinger luxuriates in visual design, demonstrating her flair for location shooting and her love of color and light. Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages shine through the decay of post-Soviet neglect. Ottinger’s deliberately anachronistic mise-en-scène heightens the irony of this post-revolutionary tale of avarice, a comedic picaresque about two men in search of jewels hidden in the seat of a chair. As the backdrop and political context for this classic story, Ottinger creates a fascinating document of Ukraine circa 2004.

Susan Oxtoby
  • Ulrike Ottinger
Based On
  • The novel by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov

  • Ulrike Ottinger
  • Russian
  • Ukrainian
  • German
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 198 mins
  • Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art