This film has haunted me for years since I caught it on late night TV,. Flms from this part of the world are often profoundly bleak and honest, often brutally so. This type of film-making is the antithesis of the generic, posturing American fluff we've all become accustomed to and is comparable to Tarkovsky as his best; as opposed to Soderbergh at his worst.
I have recently been fortunate to meet a Russian friend who gets me these films and these have again and again stirred up the emotions triggered by this, my first Russian-style masterpiece. The story is simple and is summed up neatly above, but words only serve to cheapen the insight and craft of such a masterful work, if you need plot-padding like token twists and such, you'd do best to avoid this.
In closing let me say: get it, steal it, do whatever you can to let this film into your heart.
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