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After policeman Aleksandr Hlystov receives an old photo of poet Esenin's dead body just taken out of a loop he immediately begins an investigation, not an official one, but he tries to solve the mystery by himself. The more he learns about Esenin's life and death, the weirder the case gets... Written by
A truly innovative look at explaining the circumstances surrounding the death of controversial and fascinating Russian poet Sergej Esenin. This film is based on a lot of historical and documentary research, and it shows.
The film goes back and forth between 1985 and the 1910s and 1920s (mostly the latter). This works unusually well. The 1985 scenes correspond to police investigator Aleksandr Khlystov putting together the puzzle of Esenin's death after receiving a disturbing new photograph of dead Esenin, who allegedly committed suicide. Khlystov becomes obsessed with finding out the truth, but runs into all sorts of obstacles, not least the danger of challenging the official version of things in Soviet times. The scenes corresponding to the early 20th century show us what happened in all detail (the film is about 10 hours long).
Outstanding performance by Sergej Bezrukov playing Esenin. I have seldom seen any actor getting so much into his role. He really transcends himself while acting. The rest of the cast is also good.
This film really works. All in all, a truly rewarding experience. Hope it will be issued with subtitles soon, so that non Russian speakers can also enjoy it.
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