Words by Ian McKellen

Both extraordinary and exhilarating; much of the film was decided at the last moment, with scriptwriter and director arriving with new ideas just as the cameras rolled. Quite a contrast with the theatre, where in general by the first night you know what you are doing. But then film acting is like that. That's the challenge. You have to trust the director, believe he has the film in his head. And in Ken McMullen's case, I was happy just to do as I was told.

This story of Trotsky's daughter is told through her sessions with her psychiatrist (my part). It was modestly shot in the houses of friends sympathetic to Ken McMullen's keen talents. — Ian McKellen, June 2000


 Kronfeld (Ian McKellen) and Zina (Domiziana Giordano)

A short video clip from Zina

"One of the gems of Last year's London film festival" — "She" magazine, May 1986

Winner of the Special Prize of the Jury at the
San Sebastian International Film Festival

Winner of four prizes at Fantasporto

"A historical film based on the life of Leon Trotsky's daughter might seem to the cynic the perfect recipe for yet another cinematic screw-up. Yet, in Ken McMullen's hands, the brief life of this mysterious figure becomes the vehicle for an imaginative exploration of Europe's most turbulent times, spanning the Russian Revolution to the rise of Fascism in Germany. After a visit to her father's island of exile, the troubled Zina is sent to Vienna for psychiatric treatment. During her consultations, Zina relates her colourful experiences with her aloof, sartorially sombre father and his equally dour comrades.

"She also vividly describes her nightmarish night-time hallucinations which very soon are to become the real nightmares of Hitler's Germany. The film is intense rather than tense, always thought-provoking and often moving." — Andrew Black, "The Record Mirror" 2 May 1986.