In June 1946, Stalin invites the Russian exiled from the 1917 Revolution to return home. When the ships comes ashore in Odessa, the passengers are divided in two groups and one of them is ...
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In June 1946, Stalin invites the Russian exiled from the 1917 Revolution to return home. When the ships comes ashore in Odessa, the passengers are divided in two groups and one of them is executed. Among the survivors are Dr. Aleksei Golovin, his French wife Marie and their young son. Marie is accused to be a spy, her French passport is torn up and Aleksei accepts to move to Kyiv with his family to save her. They are sent to a room in a communal house and soon Marie befriends the super, an old woman who speaks French. But she is denounced and killed by the government agents. Marie feels guilty and brings her grandson Sasha Vasilyev, who will be evicted, to live in her room with her family. Marie wants to return to her family in France, but Aleksei explains that they are imprisoned in Russia. Marie tries a contact with the leftist French actress Gabrielle Develay to ask for help to leave the USSR. While Marie gets distant from her husband, she gets closer to Sacha, who is a great ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Scenes of swimmers' training and competition were shot in the swimming pool of the Central Sports Club of the Armed Forces in Kyiv. See more »
When Marie goes to the KGB building in Kiev and Alexei finds her there, persuading her to leave, the viewer can read a sign on the building that says, in Cyrillic letters, "Ministerstvo na..." This is a Bulgarian genitive construction, meaning "The Ministry of..." The only Slavic languages that show the genitive case in this fashion are Bulgarian and Macedonian. The genitive case is marked differently in Russian and Ukrainian, which shows that the "KGB" building could not actually have been in Kiev. This makes sense because the film was partially shot in Bulgaria. See more »
In 1946, Stalin invites Russian émigrés to return, in patriotic fervor, to help rebuild from WWII. Unbeknownst to them, all returnees are considered imperialists and spies, and are to be treated accordingly. "East-West" explores this nightmare scenario through the eyes of a family who returned; a Russian doctor, his French wife and their young son. Because of his doctoring skills he is spared the Gulag or execution, but his life in Kiev is certainly not what his wife is used to. The collision of cultures, the hardships, and the Stalinist tyranny all take a deep toll as they struggle to survive and escape.
Dark, and claustrophobic, this is a gripping tale from beginning to end. And it is in the end a great love story, of devotion and sacrifice. At the showing I attended the tears flowed freely in the audience. I recommend it highly.
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