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The Asthenic Syndrome (1990)

Astenicheskiy sindrom (original title)
In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olga Antonova ...
Natasha
Sergei Popov ...
Nikolai
Galina Zakhurdaeva ...
Masha (Blonde)
Natalya Buzko ...
Masha (Brunette)
Aleksandra Svenskaya ...
Teacher
Pavel Polishchuk ...
Iunikov
Natalya Ralleva ...
Mother
Galina Kasperovich ...
Nikolai's Wife
Viktor Aristov ...
School Principal
Nikolai Semyonov ...
Head Doctor
Oleg Shkolnik
Vera Storozheva
Aleksandr Chernykh
Leonid Kushnir
Nadya Popova ...
Woman on Train
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Storyline

In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has got it, and it's not much fun. Worse yet, quite a few other people, even an entire society, seem to be afflicted with the same problem writ extremely large... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

August 1990 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Weakness Syndrome  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

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User Reviews

A vessel adrift on a sea of sadness
17 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

At some point in the film we see some of the characters trying to compose living love-making sculptures by using real nude bodies as a way of distraction, escapism and also redemption from the reality, and looking at the entire Asthenic Syndrome, it seems that Kira Muratova is creating a chaotically pulsating sculpture of the Soviet Union during perestroika, adding in a mosaic like made of vortexes, the fears, the insecurities, the weaknesses and the physical and moral instability of a nation crippled by the hardness of a totalitarian regime followed by its needed but painful deconstruction, which implies the sacrifice and the dilute of generations exposed to its toxicity; the state like a wrecked vessel adrift on a sea of sadness is sinking slowly in its apathy, quaking only when frustrations burst into crisis of raw aggression aimed blindly towards people or animals, and a seal of opaqueness seems to keep everyone in a state of voidness of all hopes, morals and ideals; the youths are acting bluntly and disrespectfully, the older are decrepit and without any guidance power over the generation they have to nurture; the whole country has become and insane asylum as Muratova herself voices: "My country had reached bankruptcy and there was nowhere else for it to go. Everything had to burst!"


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