"A Horseman by the name of Death" is the story of a terrorist set at the beginning of the 20th century when anarchists and communists were rehearsing for the Great Revolution. It mixes a bourgeois love triangle with a background of political turmoil and decadent society. It is by no means a great film: the plot is linear and sometimes outright simplistic, the characters somewhat schematic, and some of the great images are disturbingly blurred. Admittedly, this may be intentional, as if we would be looking at old pictures. The film's main merit is to explore the motivations of a cold blooded murderer and his accomplices. It shows the fascination for death and for those who bring it about, something that rings a bell in our times, punctuated by extreme acts of violence. The Russian movie industry is by no means dead, but it needs more films like this one, and a better organisation of distribution, which for the time being is rather confidential, even in Moscow.
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