Piotr is a modest farmhand living in an impoverished village in some unspecified long ago era. He wants to marry the lovely Pidorka, but her stern father won't hear of it. Luckily, the ... See full summary »
Brave sons of Khevsureti and Kisteti fight against each to protect their homelands. But, they confront faulty domestic traditions to respect enemy's true prowess and find themselves in conflict with own compatriots.
Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant's daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights - but not before he's ... See full summary »
This film tells what it was like to live in the USSR with brutal reality. A convict is forced to hide within a model of a hammer and sickle. Here a tragic romance ensues between the convict and woman worker.
At the end of the war, Odysseus, the wandering hero, with his companions begins his sail back home to the Mediterranean. The conclusion of his adventure is delayed by many natural obstacles... See full summary »
Branca de Camargo,
A Swiss sailor jumps ship in Lisbon, tired of the noisy engine room, the ship "a floating factory of crazy people." He rents a room and does little. He writes letters to his lover, ... See full summary »
In Kaliningrad two Lithuanian boys meet two Russian girls. They have difficulties in finding places where they can sleep together. But this is the only problem they do solve. All four ... See full summary »
Colourful 'optimistic tragedy' of a poor family in Ukraine, living in the Carpathian mountains near the Romanian border, during the Second World War. Five sons of the family make up the ... See full summary »
Yuri Ilyenko's feature film debut is a powerful and harrowing piece of filmmaking. Shot in the obvious magic of black and white, the movie starts as a chain of sequences that could be hard to understand, but once the viewer slowly relaxes and invests in the film, the story becomes pretty clear and absorbing. This is a little parable about life in harshness, and what old age does, after you've seen so many pass you by. It is about an old man, spending his last days and waiting for his death in a desolate house all alone, surrounded only by his memories and photographs from a bygone era. In his spare time, he makes a coffin for himself and then starts sleeping in it, hoping that way Death will come to him sooner. The film is a mix of the past and present, capturing beauty, war, politics and regrets, in other words, 'life' itself through another eye as it trickles to stagnation and decay. The old man stays on a deserted piece of land with only a well for company (and occasionally an old lady, probably symbolizing his conscience), a well that has comforted travelers and soldiers alike for many years. Somehow, the well becomes the man's alter ego; the clear water gradually becoming vile, even as our old guy wanes away in the corner. In time his family comes to visit, bringing with them the old man's pregnant daughter in law who gives birth as the film ends, probably referring to our man's death (my personal assumption) in a cyclic manner. Symbolisms are etched on the expansive landscapes beautifully, and this is honestly a rousing film in the last 40 minutes, but to experience that the viewer needs to be patient for the first twenty five minutes or so. Seemingly arty and incoherent at the start, the pieces slowly fall together, building up a moving and poetic ode to the journey of life towards absolution. Excellent visuals too. Great start with Ilyenko.
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