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horrors of modern adolescence
ch26114 September 2012
"Everybody dies, but me" is a surprisingly powerful coming-of-age drama, set in the suburbs of contemporary Moscow. Amidst a scenery of desolate concrete towers the 9-grader Shanna, Vika and Katya spend a crucial period of their adolescence dominated by school, violent parents, and of course the longing for fun and love. As a school disco is announced, all their thoughts and desires get concentrated onto this one event. This, however, will not at all bring about what the girls are looking for...

While the main plot itself is far from revolutionary and works off many clichés like (halfhearted) suicide attempts, a flight from parents home for the sake of a party and douchebags for lovers, the movie never feels simplistic or shallow. This is because its focus is not on what happens but how it happens and the implications that come along with it for the protagonists' status (within their own small peer group and within the school) and their developing identity. This is where the director Valeriya Gay Germanika has put all her efforts into and she has done it well. Though the movie is relatively short the main characters develop a convincing, multi-faceted personality moving far beyond the average teenager-movie.

This is of course only possible with convincing actors, and here again we are lucky because Polina Filonenko, Agniya Kuznetsova and Olga Shuvalova but also some side characters deliver - especially in the second half of the story - a stunning performance throughout most diverse episodes ranging from intimate friendship to brutal violence.

A strong indicator for the quality of the movie is the great interest one develops in the characters, though there is not a single one to identify with. In fact, the more one knows about them the less one sympathizes with them. This is a key element in a movie depicting adolescence not as the exciting time of sometimes difficult but in the end fruitful striving for love and success but rather as a period of weakness, insecurity and instability and the medium horror that comes with it for so many teenagers. In that, it is rather dissection than entertainment, and those who only seek the latter and have no interest in the former may be disappointed. Those, however, who are looking for a convincing portrait of how it is to grow up in the bleak quarters of our modern society the movie is highly recommended.
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The epitome of teen angst
Stas309818 June 2014
Recently, I came across this movie, by pure chance, at a house of one of my Russian expatriate friends and the first thought that popped into my head was that this was yet another Russian totally down-right unwatchable piece of crap movie, but my friend ,however, went out of her way to laud and extol this movie and ,in sooth, she forced me to give it a watch and for that I'm glad now.

First and foremost, it is the first Russian movie in which I heard strong language used left and right.

Now about the story. The plot centers on three school BBFs (Katya, Vika and Zhanna)going through the teenage angst phase. They are wallflower type girls, though, they are no different from their peers in that that they believe the school to be the be-all and the end-all of everything.

Brimming with angst the wallflower girls decide to embark on a journey (they decide to go to the school party, simply put) that, they are sure, will let them escape the tedium of the listless suburban life. Little did they know that the notorious "teenage angst" was bound to upend their lives forever and ever.

They start making plans and indulging in day-dreaming about how the journey they're on (the school party) should turn out for them. Their grand plan is quite simple to go together to the party and shine there. But no, no such luck!

The shattering of their best-made plans of going together to the school party triggers a chain-reaction which takes them to some very dark places all courtesy of teenage angst and putting some stupid "pipe- dream" first at all costs.
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