Five young Red Army recruits struggle for survival against the merciless violence that surrounds them on a daily basis. Their only means of saving their dignity is by preserving the ... See full summary »
Five young Red Army recruits struggle for survival against the merciless violence that surrounds them on a daily basis. Their only means of saving their dignity is by preserving the humanity and compassion they share for each other. Visually astonishing, erotically charged and emotionally jarring, this film is Hussein Erkenov's courageous and stinging indictment of Communisum. Banned by the Soviet censors upon its initial release the film had to be smuggled out of the country to make its world wide premier at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival. Written by
This is the first film I have seen where there is no plot. Apparently that is the plot???? A friend of mine who did his military service in the Soviet Army during the late 1980s said that the film's portrayal of the uniforms and barracks etc are very accurate. There was however no apparent mention of the dedovshina endemic in much of the Russian Army. Dedovshina (Law of the grandads) is the bullying (often very violent) of the new soldiers or dushi (spirits) by the older soldiers known as deds or dembels (grandads).
Many have commented on the supposed homoerotic scenes in the communal bath or banya, where the soldiers are seen washing each other down. According to my friend this portrayal of the banya is accurate, however the homoerotic interpretations are NOT!!! In the USSR homosexuality was considered to be a mental illness, and in the Soviet military it was an imprisonable offence. In addition there is substantial and often violent homophobia in Russia, nowhere more so than in the military. According to my friend if you were even suspected of being gay, let alone getting turned on by the sight of your fellow soldiers naked in the banya you would not have left the banya alive - literally.....BE WARNED!!!! All in all this is a very odd film. There is clearly some deep an inner meaning in it somewhere, but I'm afraid it was a bit too deep and inner for me.
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