Criminally underseen due to lack of availability, Descent Into Darkness is a terrifying found-footage horror film created by French artist Rafaël Cherkaski. Cherkaski plays Sorgoï, a naive documentarian from Sdorvie, a tiny country on the border of Russia. He has received a grant from a local television station to make a road movie documenting his travels across Europe, which he lovingly refers to as his European dream. Yet things do not go as planned for Sorgoï, as his money dries up and the world just isn’t as kind as he dreamed it would be.

As an existentially devastated Sorgoï spirals out of control, the footage grows more and more unsettling, offering disturbing glimpses into his growing depravity. It will have you anxiously wondering, “How much of this was staged?” And the answer is we don’t know either.

Originally released in 2013 under the title Sorgoï Prakov, My European Dream, the film has existed in a multitude of edits over the years. An early cut gained notoriety on YouTube before being taken down for content that pushed the boundaries of legality featuring the French police. Now with the assistance of the found-footage horror streaming network POV Horror and its founder Michael Steinberg, the film has been reworked to be slightly more accessible to an audience — without abandoning any of the subversive elements that could legally remain intact.

Inspiring the entire audience to take a collective walk-around-the-block to recover after the screening at the 2018 Unnamed Footage Festival, the programming team from UFF is wickedly excited to bring Descent Into Darkness back to the Bay Area for the world premiere of the final cut.

The last time we got on a video call with Rafaël Cherkaski, he was hanging clothes to dry from piping on the ceiling and told us he was currently residing in a psychiatric institute. With that in mind, the screening will be followed by a Skype Q&A — filmmaker schedule permitting.

Also: a limited number of t-shirts will be available to ticket-holders!

NOTE FILMS START RIGHT AT THE LISTED SHOWTIME. Roxie Theater trailers play during the 30 minutes prior to showtime.