Beginning in 2007, filmmaker Ilya Khrzhanovskiy staged an ambitious art project that replicated a top-secret research facility and populated their carbon-copy institute with amateur actors. DAU. Degeneration is one of the fourteen feature films produced, running over six hours and divided into nine chapters.
DAU Degeneration presents the research facility in its cruel final phase, intending to create the perfect human being by conducting mad, scientific experiments on animals and infants. The institute director turns a blind eye to the absurdity of the facility until a radical youth group arrives to eradicate the world of the Institute. Experiment gone wrong is a metaphor for the downward spiral of communism into fascism, while the DAU series is a provocative experiment on transgression between fiction and reality.
About the Director
Ilya Khrzhanovskiy (b. 1975, Moscow) is a director and producer. He graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1998. His debut film, 4, won a Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. DAU, his multi-disciplinary project, was premiered in Paris in 2019. DAU. Natasha won Outstanding Artistic Contribution Award at Berlinale in 2020.
Ilya Permyakov is a Russian director. He completed his doctorate in philosophy in 2003. Between 2004 and 2008, he was curator of Videologia, an international festival for audio-visual arts. His video work has been presented in museums and galleries including the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Modern in London. As part of the DAU project, he has directed three films and a series and has led several academic conferences.