Tamil filmmaker, Tolstoy descendant to bring Russian great back to life

Tamil filmmaker G Venkatesh Kumar is now all set to make a documentary film on the life and literature of Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy | Image - Eunice Dhivya | All photos - Special Arrangement

For Tolstoy fan and documentary filmmaker G Venkatesh Kumar, the Russian novelist’s work is more than just great literature. Rather, it has a close connection with Venkatesh’s own life. As a child, he grew up hearing about his great grandfather’s Tamil translations of Leo Tolstoy’s works.

Venkatesh is now all set to make a documentary on the life and literature of Tolstoy. While many documentaries have been made on the Russian novelist and thinker, the young filmmaker is working to reconstruct Tolstoy’s life —from a student at Kazan University to the time when he started working on his epic novel, War and Peace. This is a period in Tolstoy’s life, Venkatesh believes, that’s not much known to the outside world.

Ancestral connections

There is another thing that sets this film apart—the role of the Russian writer will be played by his great-great-great grandson, Andrei Vladimir Tolstoy, a journalist-actor based in Moscow.

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