“Anton Shagin plays brilliantly... fantastic display of camera virtuosity... Innocent Saturday is one of the most original and inspired films I’ve seen so far at this festival.”

Robert Beames, Obsessed With Film

"Alexander Mindadze relates the essentially unbelievable events of this one particular Saturday in a completely plausible and perfectly sober style. There is quite obviously no reasonable reaction to this catastrophe, which lies beyond human understanding."

Katja Lüthge, Berliner Zeitung

"While radioactivity cannot be transposed to film, the bizarre fascination of this catastrophe can very well be depicted with the means of the cinemaЙ For a few minutes, one has the feeling that Mindadze, an experienced and award-winning scriptwriter, has totally lost sight of his subject. While the invisible nuclear reactor is still releasing its still invisible gamma rays, practically all the kitchen help is portrayed in close-ups like suspects in a police line-up. But the unrest which is triggered by the avoidance of the object is more horrifying than the few shots that show the burning reactor from a distance. Indeed, Innocent Saturday is about people who find themselves profoundly drawn to what they are fleeing Р a paradox with which weХre also familiar from genre-style catastrophe films, but which is rarely enunciated in such clarity!"

Andreas Rosenfelder, Die Welt

"Radiates an increasingly poignant glow... Innocent Saturday mulls over a facet of the Soviet psyche that non-Slavs may struggle to comprehend -- namely, how difficult it was to slip the bonds of community even though life under socialism was so miserably dreary, even life-threatening. Mindadze and Romanian lenser Oleg Mutu... have devised a very literal way of illustrating Valery's inability to leave his friends behind.... pic eventually pays off with a nicely understated feeling of elegiac melancholy. Shagin carves out a lot with relatively few lines, and impresses with a robustly physical perf."

Leslie Felperin, Variety

"Mesmerizing tableau of a dance of death.... While the opening sequence ostensibly promises an art-house variant of the generic disaster movie format, MindadzeХs film proves much more distinctive and stylistically heightened... the sense of life...takes on a surreal intensity. This intensity is heightened by Oleg Mutu's phenomenally energetic hand-held camera style, usually holding on individual characters, often accompanying them into the thick of fugues, brawls and dance floor mania.... Mindadze certainly achieves something very singular in this second feature."

Jonathan Romney, Screen International

4,5 of 5 stars "Anton Shagin plays brilliantly... fantastic display of camera virtuosity... Innocent Saturday is one of the most original and inspired films IХve seen so far at this festival."

Robert Beames, Obsessed With Film

"Small details are masterfully handled. The manic wedding scene contains chilling images like Vera's mocking song.... Cinematographer Oleg Mutu creates a strongly personal style. The opening scenes blaze with edge-of-seat tension thanks to adrenaline-boosted handheld camerawork that takes no prisoners.... the non-stop close ups and neck-level swish pans lend enormous urgency to the drama on the screen. The cast is very well directed, with memorable cameos throughout.... Shagin, a budding young star in Russia, gives a shell-shocked intensity to the central role punctuated with outbursts of violence, recalling a young David Thewliss with less charisma."

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

"Exciting like a Hollywood thriller! With Anton Shagin, the Russian Heath Ledger. Perhaps this film will ultimately be the winner."

Bild Zeitung

"Innocent Saturday is also a kind of swan song to the Soviet era, which might pale in the darkness of history, but which will nevertheless leave traces. Oleg Mutu, the masterful cameraman, shoots with a wealth of details and extreme precision. He portrays Soviet reality not in a retro style, but searches for its echo in the here and now. He convincingly conveys how much the fallen national construct still determines life."

Jewgeni Gusjatinski, Russkij Reporter / Russland Heute