Young Sasha is brought into a state-run children's home because his mother died early and his father spends most of his life in prison. The conditions are like in a penal institution. Sasha... See full summary »
Young Sasha is brought into a state-run children's home because his mother died early and his father spends most of his life in prison. The conditions are like in a penal institution. Sasha tries several times to escape and to search for his father. Written by
Mirko Thiessen <email@example.com>
Freedom is paradise-An honest film by Mr.Sergei Bodrov who depicts the tough lives of a reform school's inmates.
"S.E.R.-Svoboda Eto Rai"/"Freedom is paradise" is an extremely bleak albeit realistic portrayal of the tough life experienced by an inmate belonging to a reform school for juvenile delinquents. Tadpoles is the name given by school authorities to young offenders whose criminal parents are also holed up in different Russian prisons. It is in such an extremely biased and hostile environment that an ingenious boy Sasha Grigoriyev undertakes an arduous journey in order to meet his father who is lodged in a faraway prison. Freedom is paradise made its appearance in 1989, a year when all the world's eyes were set on former USSR as general secretary of Russian communist party Mr.Mikhail Gorbachev had initiated "Glasnost" and "Perestroika"-two political policies which aimed at more "openness" in Russian society. It was in such a highly politically charged environment that Sergei Bodrov chose to depict the plight of Russia's undesirable, unloved and unwanted children-young delinquents about which nobody cared as they were viewed by all and sundry as a burden for civilized society in former Soviet Union. Mr.Sergei Bodrov's film is able to engage viewers as it takes into account different kinds of human sufferings. This is one reason why he did not neglect the portrayal of the suffering experienced by Sasha's father-an unfortunate man who has been deprived of his right of parenting on some flimsy grounds. However, it is Sasha's journey to see his unknown father which is viewed as this film's most crucial element which manages to have a firm grip of viewers' attention. This effect is achieved aesthetically as Mr.Sergei Bodrov gives his film a unique feel of documentary as well as feature film elements. It is precisely this 'eye for details' which enables viewers to empathize with all the problems which Sasha experiences in order to embrace his father. Lastly, a word of advice to viewers-in many ways, Freedom is paradise can be put into the same category of films which dealt with young criminals namely Los Olvidados, Pixote etc but this film emerges as a different film as it conveys its message while being entertaining for all.
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