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Josse De Pauw,
Eva van der Gucht,
Werner De Smedt
June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or prison. He and his French wife (her passport ripped up) are sent to Kiev. She wants to return to France immediately; he knows that they are captives and must watch every step. By chance, she meets a touring French actress and pleads for help. She also takes a young swimmer under her wing, and several years later, he makes a bold attempt to escape. Meanwhile, the KGB is suspicious, and hope for freedom is dim. Patience, her husband's self control, and her good looks may be their only assets. Written by
When Marie goes to the KGB building in Kiev and Alexei finds her there, persuading her to leave, the viewer can read a sign on the building that says, in Cyrillic letters, "Ministerstvo na..." This is a Bulgarian genitive construction, meaning "The Ministry of..." The only Slavic languages that show the genitive case in this fashion are Bulgarian and Macedonian. The genitive case is marked differently in Russian and Ukrainian, which shows that the "KGB" building could not actually have been in Kiev. This makes sense because the film was partially shot in Bulgaria. See more »
Shot in dark tones of the Soviet popular colors, this movie will transport you right into the heart of the Communist system during the 1950's Stalin period. Within half an hour you'll be sorry that you came, because the director will make you fear for the unlikely heroes. You'll be holding to your chair and crave for the safety of your favorite TV soap.
To call it a political thriller is not doing justice to the emotional overtone of the story of Marie and her husband Alexey. Director's rendition of the Marie's courage hidden in the simplest acts is quite dazzling. That, and good acting is the major "special effect" of this film, theme of which cannot be dismissed as a history to be forgotten. A system similar to the Soviet communism may sprout in any country, and the fate of the condemned people may depend on the valour of both insiders and the citizen of the free world.
Don't worry, the movie is not moralizing. Do yourself a favor, go to see it
if the political system of your country permits you to do so (if it does
not, smuggle it in and invite all your friends).
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