Patient No. 1

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The supreme leader of the Soviet Union is hospitalized, death is unavoidable, and a nurse is given a new job description. Patient No. 1 is a clever description of how authoritarian systems are capable of depriving their people - and their leaders - of their freedom.

When the top leader of the Soviet Union is admitted to the hospital, life is turned upside down for the nurse Sasha. She has been tasked with taking care of the dying leader of the Soviet Union, and it is a task that cannot happen without intrigue. Patient No. 1 draws inspiration from the early 1980s Soviet Union and its geriatric leaders, highlighting society's at times absurd handling of the leader's imminent death.

Patient No. 1 is directed by the Georgian filmmaker Rezo Gigineishvili and has garnered praise and recognition from the acclaimed director Werner Herzog and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov. The film features an exciting cast and several outstanding performances, including Alekander Filippenko's portrayal of the dying Soviet leader.

Director Gigineishvili has created an insightful portrait of the Soviet Union before Gorbachev solely by depicting a hospital. Soviet hospitals may not be overtly colorful affairs, but they are here elevated to a partly vibrant universe through costumes and nursing intrigues in contrast to the Soviet Union's pale, mysterious, yet subtly perceptible, power dynamics.


Rezo Gigineishvili (b.1982) is a Russian filmmaker, born in Tbilisi (now Georgia). Gigineishvili has directed over 150 music videos and commercials. Since his feature film debut in 2006, he has had a highly productive career, with works such as his film Hostages (2017) being showcased at various film festivals. In 2023, Gigineishvili received the Werner Herzog Foundation's film award for Patient No. 1.


2019 Sober Cab
2017 Hostages
2012 Love with an Accent
2006 The Heat

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