U.S. rights to Vadim Jendreyko’s “The Woman with the Five Elephants” has been picked up by Cinema Guild. Ryan Krivoshey of The Cinema Guild negotiated the pact for the film with Susanna Guggenberger of Mira Film and Patrick Sibourd of Nour Films. “Elephants,” which won the Sterling Award for a World Feature at the 2010 AFI/Discovery Channel Silverdocs Film Festival, will open in theaters in the first half of 2011.
“The Woman with the Five Elephants” spotlights Svetlana Geier, considered one of the world’s greatest translators of Russian literature. Her new German translations of Dostoevsky’s five great novels, known as the five elephants, are literary milestones and the culmination of a life’s work. But her success has come with its share of loss. As a child in the Ukraine, Svetlana witnessed first-hand the impact of Stalin’s purges. As a young girl, she watched Nazi forces occupy her country. Her love of the written word and gift for languages ensured her survival. But it forced her to make a choice that altered the course of her life. The film, according to Cinema Guild, pieces together the mystery of her life and work–not by reading it from left to right, as Geier says of her craft, but by understanding it as a whole.
“‘The Woman with the Five Elephants’ is an amazing documentary. Watching Svetlana Geier translate a phrase from ‘Crime and Punishment’ is filled with as much suspense and tension as any scene from ‘Wages of Fear,'” commented Ryan Krivoshey. “Following the great reception this film has received on the festival circuit, we look forward to audiences discovering it in theaters.”