This morning I wrote Russian producer Alexander Rodnyansky to convey my shock and concern over the reportedly severe Covid illness of director Andrej Zvyagnitsev, 57, the legendary, hugely admired director of The Return (’03), Elena (’11), Leviathan (’14) and Loveless (’17)

Zvyagnitsev’s infection, which began two months ago, recently became so serious that he was flown to Germany for intensive care. A recent report states that his lungs are 90% infected, or conditions to that effect.

Three immediate and obvious questions: (1) Was Zvyagintsev not vaccinated (the Russian vaccine is called Sputnik)?; (2) And if so, why is he so godawful sick? The vast majority of vaccinated people never get this close to death; (3) What is it that’s so derelict or unreliable about Russian hospitals that Zvyagintsev had to be flown to Germany?

Zvyagintsev has been planning his first English-language film, What Happens, which will be shot in the U.S. Produced by Rodnyansky and written by Oleg Negin, What Happens “is the director’s contemplation on the nature of human relationships, the state of modern man and the fragility of human life.’

Here’s hoping Zvyaginstev will get through this…please.