Five young Soviet Army recruits struggle for survival against the merciless violence that surrounds them on a daily basis. Their only means of saving their dignity is by preserving the ...
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Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films. He keeps his personal life and ... See full summary »
Leo is 22 and sells his body on the street for a bit of cash. The men come and go, and he stays right here - longing for love. He doesn't know what the future will bring. He hits the road. His heart is pounding.
As the mass deportations of the Chechen and Ingush peoples begin in 1944, young Daud and Seda escape to the mountains. When they get back to their native village, however, they witness a horrifying war crime.
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Felix from West-Berlin falls in love with Thomas in East-Berlin. At first they keep their relationship going by regular visits from Felix, but the curfew forces him to return every evening.... See full summary »
Maurice is a French teenager who escaped France and begins working at a hype club in Brooklyn called BIZARRE. He quickly becomes a sort of 'mascot' of this incredible club.The owner and the... See full summary »
Five young Soviet Army recruits struggle for survival against the merciless violence that surrounds them on a daily basis. Their only means of saving their dignity is by preserving the humanity and compassion they share for each other. Visually astonishing, erotically charged and emotionally jarring, this film is Hussein Erkenov's courageous and stinging indictment of Communisum. Banned by the Soviet censors upon its initial release the film had to be smuggled out of the country to make its world wide premier at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival.Written by
The majority of the bad reviews here come from America, where it seems there can be no positive reaction to beauty of image, poetry, or an understanding of Russian cinema. It is lamentable that this film does not get higher ratings, but then I sense homophobia to be at work. Arguably the Russians have got used to coded images in their films, especially towards the beauty of the young male face and figure. From Eisenstein, through 'Ballad of a Soldier' to 'Father and Son', and if homoeroticism is there, under a cruelly oppressive series of political regimes, the code is necessary for survival. America needs no codes, it just ignores positive representation, and those that exist get lost in independent gay film which rarely gets seen outside of festivals.
This is a beautiful film. Watch it as you would read a poem. 'Mirror' by Tarkovsky is applauded as a masterpiece, and this film, in all its glorious mystery of image and action, stands, needing no comparison. There is a place beyond traditional meaning, and that place is the imagination, and of course it is not a film that releases all its meanings, subtexts and observations on Russian life to a reductive interpretation. The homophobia of some reviews is never quite stated, but is there; what is less obvious is an understanding of the profound inner soul of Russian cinema at its best.
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