David Bezmozgis dives into Russian diaspora
Interview: David Bezmozgis on Natasha
The Toronto-based writer-director grew up in a community of Russian Jews who left the Soviet Union, but decades later he says the "Russian immigrant experience" has become more difficult to define -- yet far more interesting to explore through drama
By Katherine Monk
The “immigrant experience” is a phrase that’s been getting a lot of media mileage in the wake of Syria’s collapse and continuing mass displacement due to climate change, but as a phrase, it’s generic. It assumes all immigrants share a similar reality: a sense of exile and limited expression until assimilation takes hold. Toronto author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis thinks the North American “immigrant community” deserves better than a broad label between quotation marks, so he wrote a short story called Natasha, originally published in Harper’s before appearing in a bound collection in 2004. A Lolita-like yarn about a sexy young Russian girl who moves ...