Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.
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In 1946, a soldier fathers a child then dies before its birth. Jump to 1952: on a train, the child and his mother meet a handsome soldier who makes a play for her. She accepts. Posing as a married family, the soldier finds them a rooming house where he becomes everyone's favorite through his good looks and generosity. Meanwhile he gives the boy, Sanya, lessons in life: to fight back, to win at all costs. The child's mother, Katya, is head-over-heels in love with Tolyan, the soldier, but the relationship becomes rocky when Tolyan's true plans for the rooming house become clear. It starts them on a treadmill of flight that risks Katya's life, Tolyan's liberty, and Sanya's trust. Written by
Sanya - 48 Years Old:
I was born right after the war, in 1946. My mother was going to the village where her relatives lived and gave birth to me right on the road. I never saw my father. He was covered with wounds when he returned from the war and died six months before I was born, but throughtout my childhood I kept thinking of him, trying to imagine him.
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A woman, who is traveling with her young son in search of a better life, meets a soldier on a train and has a sexual encounter with him. Afterward, they move in together, and she thinks she has found security and love. It doesn't take long, though, for the soldier to start showing a darker side. First, he becomes harsh in his treatment of the boy, and then unleashes his volatile personality on her.
Eventually, the woman must make a decision: does she stay with this stranger, although she knows he is corrupting her child and challenging her authority, or does she leave him and return to the uncertainties she was facing when she met him?
This film, a multi-layered portrayal of victimization, effectively illustrates how harsh reality can be, and how fragile our dreams. It's not for everyone. It contains sexuality which lacks sensitivity. It contains graphic nudity. But, it depicts life as some unfortunate people know it, and depicts it well indeed. I rated it 9/10.
By the way, Misha Philipchuk, who portrays the little boy, is a fantastic actor. As the movie tagline claims, he will indeed steal your heart.
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