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From the East (1993)

D'Est (original title)
A look at life in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Natalia Chakhovskaia ...
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Storyline

A look at life in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Documentary

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October 1993 (USA)  »

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From the East  »

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| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating experimental documentary capturing a unique moment in recent history
4 June 2010 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This 1993 film by Chantal Akerman resembles some of her best early experimental work from the 1970s, especially 'Hotel Monterey'. This is a truly non-narrative film. Just a series of images from across Russia; often slow, amazingly long tracking shots (probably made from a car, but somehow rock steady), intercut with some long stationary wide angle shots, and shots of people in rooms, clearly staged. There's no dialogue and almost no music, only the incidental sounds of the place being photographed.

The film is clearly a comment on how lost Russia was at that moment in history after communism fell – a lifetime of one ideology was suddenly gone, and nothing new had yet taking it's place. We see it in the faces

  • every person looks like they're waiting for something. The only


problem for me was the length. At 110 minutes both images and ideas, terrific though they were, started to feel repetitive. That said, I'd gladly re-visit and see if a second viewing, knowing now what the style of the film is, would be easier to settle into, and get lost in.


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