This powerful, hard-edged crime drama explores the dark side of the American immigrant experience and dares to ask, "How far would you go to survive?" Lana's only chance to escape the ... See full summary »
This powerful, hard-edged crime drama explores the dark side of the American immigrant experience and dares to ask, "How far would you go to survive?" Lana's only chance to escape the war-torn Balkans is her long-lost brother, Darko, a street-smart gangster with enemies intent on revenge. Isolated at first by her inability to speak English, Lana desperately hopes that she and her brother can achieve the American dream that she can only glimpse. But her illusions are shattered as she is forced to survive by any means possible on the mean streets of Chicago. As she gets pulled deeper and deeper into her brother's criminal world while a steely determination grows in her heart, lana must risk her own life to overcome Darko and his pursuers if she hopes to finally realize her dream. Written by
During and following the Balkan Wars of the 1990's, various types of war criminals and low level mobsters escaped to countries in Western Europe fleeing either the authorities or their enemies. Some even found their way to America, hiding out on the back streets of large cities while taking on new identities. Many more innocent people came to America dreaming of a better life and a fresh start away from all the horrors they had witnessed.
Out of this turmoil comes the story of ...
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written by Mike Vanportfleet
vocals by Tara Vanportfleet
performed by LYCIA See more »
This film is better and grittier than many dramas with ten times the budget, and there are plenty of suspenseful moments to keep even the most indie-phobic skeptic intrigued. Oksana Orlenko (who won an award in Milan for her performance) and Nickolai Stoilov are seamless as the charismatic leads, while Michael S. Ojeda's direction makes the best use of their talents and the skills of his cinematographer (Gennadi Balitski), as well as his own script.
I disagree with the one reviewer (out of ten so far) who didn't like the "execution" of this film. I think it is a perfect mix of action scenes that grab you, and intense character-driven dramatic moments that allow for time to take in all that has happened. Ojeda really captures the sense of peril one feels without a dime and no place to go. That gash in Lana's forehead on the film's poster gives an idea of how deep the film is, and the roller-coaster ride awaiting anyone who watches it. I wish I had seen it in the theater. Grade: A
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