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Two children living in a remote mining town in the distant wastes of Siberia in 1947, survive poverty and hardship through the warmth of their friendship and a shared sense of humour. Written by
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Don't come to this expecting much in the way of a plot; it's a bunch of interconnected anecdotes about a boy living in a stark Siberian mining town. Apparently it's semi-autobiographical & filmed on a minuscule budget. Some online reviews claim the boy's mother is a prostitute (I thought her reference to that was metaphorical). The filmmaker certainly doesn't give much context away, but even without understanding much about Stalinist Siberia or knowing exactly what is meant by living in "the zone", for me the film conveys at once the frustration of living in exile with a child's failure to understand. Similarly, in his interaction with his caring older (girl) friend, the young protagonist conveys the often-heartless behavior of younger children. The actors are supposedly non-professionals; they do an excellent job. And the b&w photography is beautifully evocative. My only quibble is the "it's only a movie" ending.
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