In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Vanya is a 6 year old orphan living in a rundown orphanage in a remote Russian village. For Vanya and the other children, life is without hope, unless, of course, they are adopted by wealthy foreigners. For Vanya, hope comes in the form of an Italian couple. But while arrangements are being made an incident occurs when the mother of another child appears, seeking her son. Vanya begins to wonder what would happen if his own mother reappeared, and he was living in Italy.With the assistance of older children, Vanya is able to access his records and find the possible whereabouts of his mother. He escapes and travels across the country, pursued by the adoption agents. Written by
Contemporary time setting. Little boy's journey who lives in Russia, is supposed to be adopted by an Italian family.
This film is an absolute treasure! It is not only well done, and I don't mean super effects or huge budget, but well done from a true Cinematic and directorial approach, it also has a very interesting script. Most importantly, this film has a soul; it adds humanity to our consciousness, which is rare in this "postmodern" age we live in. Acting is excellent especially if you take under consideration that most of the characters are children. Like any great film, it speaks of the personal story and goes beyond, dealing with bigger issues. Moreover, this film follows the great Russian film tradition, reminded me of Tarkovsky, even though the style is very different, and more recent film "The Return" which came out of Russia couple years ago and won international awards.
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