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Well, that's definitely a fantasy movie. As a native Siberian, I agree with previous reviews:
1) There are no nationality "urka" in Siberia. Siberia was populated in a similar way as the U.S. Caucasian people came from the European part of Russian and dominated ethnic groups. In particular, there were several waves of prisoners in 18th, 19th, and 20th century. The Siberian criminals in 1930+ were called urkas, in particular, in Kolyma, a north Siberian region with rich deposits of gold. Most of urkas had tattoos that told their stories, in particular, what kind of crime they committed.
2) Urkas were not mobile once they were released from the prison in Siberia. Permanent and temporary registration is still a big deal in Russia. It would have been very unlikely for an urka to cross the country and settle down in the Western part of Russia, unless they had close relatives there who could register them at their own houses or apartments.
3) I was very upset with the looks and outfits. Honestly, I did not get why people were dressed like there were in 1930-40ties, while it was 1980-1990ties. Also, "Gagarin" and his father wore long hair. If they came from urka's family, the most appropriate hairstyle would be really short hair or being bold. Besides that long hair is usually considered homosexual in Russia, except some alternative fashion. Probably I should not write here how homophobic Russian people are...
4) What's up with the accent? I could hardly understand what actors said. It did not sound Russian to me. I hope it worked for non-Russian people to create the right setting.
To sum up, with 30MM Euro budget it is really such a shame that the crew did not do their homework. It was worth spending $1-2K to fly to a Siberian city and talking to people there, or hiring a Russian historian focusing on Siberia and/or criminal history to identify those basic things above.
P.S. Though I should admit that I enjoyed watching Malkovich in his role.
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