The setting for this German-made film is a desolate town, off the Baltic sea in the former Soviet Union, during the height of the Cold War. A regiment of border guards come upon a woman's shoe that has washed up on the shore and immediately decide that it is evidence of infiltration. Three soldiers are dispatched to search for the owner of the shoe and presumably arrest and interrogate them. As the soldiers make their way about town, the film takes on the tone of a comic Bicycle Thief. It also reminded me visually of some of Jim Jarmusch's films. The shots are mostly very long takes which linger long after any activity has ceased, giving the viewer a sense of place. Particularly moving are tracking shots across a schoolroom and in a meatpacking factory.
Be forewarned, the pacing of this film is deliberate and not plot-driven. The resolution is charming in its own quiet way.
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