Marina, a forty-year-old Russian woman, lives in a small village in South Leicestershire in England. Seven years ago she married Gregory, a village garage owner, a collector of Morris Minor... See full summary »
Marina, a forty-year-old Russian woman, lives in a small village in South Leicestershire in England. Seven years ago she married Gregory, a village garage owner, a collector of Morris Minor cars and an Ipswich Town supporter. Marina met Gregory when he came to Russia to see Ipswich Town playing against Torpedo Moscow, and moved to England with her then five-year-old daughter in the hope of happiness and a secure future for her child. A journalist and a writer in her previous life, she now works as a local hairdresser and in her spare time writes for the parish magazine. Gregory loves her, and her daughter seems to flourish in a private school, but Marina doesn't feel happy and satisfied with her life - and can't really explain why. The feeling increases when she goes to London to meet Valentina, an old friend who is visiting from Moscow. Valentina has become a successful writer and Marina asks herself whether maybe she could also write books in Russian, her native language which ... Written by
Neil McCartney on email@example.com
Lyrical and contemplative, midlife crisis, feminine issues
I liked "Season of Mists" (in Russian "Sezon Tumanov"). Without being redundant and repeating fine plot synopsis written by one of the sponsors Neil McCartney, my comments will be directed primarily toward the film interpretation and technical features rather than the literal narrative. I also was physically transplanted into another country where I live now already for 30 years and also from Russian-speaking world. There is indeed (or at least was) a significant difference in transplanting, especially while at a mature age, into a quite dissimilar cultural environment. While this is one of the messages, I believe the most important one is rather a midlife crisis and feminism's issues.
In the "Season" authors consider a case of a very bright and intelligent woman (and a feminist's message is very pertinent here) who settled, perhaps due to economic or selfish reasons, into a marriage to a 'good and decent man' who she does not quite love, but deeply respect. Her skills and talents seem to be misused (or under-utilized) in the English village, among those good meaning but simple country folks. She's obligated to this simple auto-mechanic, Gregory, who brought up her daughter as his own and loves her dearly. She's torn between her loyalty and gratitude to her husband and her ambition. This is a feminist work that shows greater dependence of woman upon external circumstances than of a man; even in the developed societies, woman is still more vulnerable, primarily because of her children, upon external circumstances and assigned social roles.
This English village is separated from an outside world by a roman-aqueduct (or a bridge) alluding to something basic, primal and ancient. The strange stone-statue and the old man (Darby), a sacred priest of the stone, who deals with the loss of his dear wife by imagining that she was kidnapped by aliens, he performs a daily ritual of her imminent return. Marina, the heroin of the film, roams around the countryside, on the edge of her village-universe; she walks on the roman-aqueduct, straight on the border between hers and outsider world. But at last, the time had come - Marina has an opportunity and acts on it - she falls in 'love' with Sasha, a second violin (the fact that he is a second, not first is quite significant). She also has an opportunity to be a published author. It is not that she is extremely talented, but perhaps she's not entirely gift-less. Her friend, Valya, appears to be successful in the profession, without having any talent. But what Valya's 'success' affording her? - An active social life, without true love and family, in the beautiful, yet cluttered and unkempt apartment. Initially appealing to Marina, eventually she dismisses all of this and chooses her old, stable, familiar life. She finds more meaning and fulfillment in this old English village.
Marina's decision to stay with Gregory is helped by her becoming pregnant from Sasha, who's melancholy, 'quiet desperation' and lack of initiative makes him a poor candidate for the role of father. Marina is pregnant again - with Sasha's child. It is as if this ancient English-heartland is good for education, family but is impotent to produce its own offspring and needs the blood from outside world (like Russia). Gregory (an old England) will accept this new child, as his own, as he already had done with Dasha, another Marina's child.
The final sequence, when Sasha comes to see Marina and finds her with the new child, without understanding that this is his own, relieved to learn that Marina will not be with him after all; he goes to the magic stone, where its priest, Darby, meets him. He always felt uncomfortable in this old English country, with its language and traditions. He rushes on the tractor (of all modes of transportation selected by the director) to bring him to the frontiers, this old roman-aqueduct that separates him from his Russian world. He appears to be content.
The "Season of Mists" is not just about mists in our lives. This is, first and foremost, a feminist's film; it is made by a woman and has the female feel to it. It provokes a quiet contemplation, without effusion and cheep effects. I heartily recommend this film for serious and patient people.
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