6.9/10
159
3 user 2 critic

Old Women (2003)

Starukhi (original title)
A small village in the Russian campaign is inhabited only by few old women and a boy. When a family of refugees arrives they are at first opposed by the community, but eventually they'll be accepted and help revive the village.

Director:

Gennadiy Sidorov
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9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Valentina Berezutskaya
Tamara Klimova Tamara Klimova
Anastasia Lyubimova Anastasia Lyubimova
Zoya Norkina Zoya Norkina
Galina Smirnova Galina Smirnova
Bronislava Zakharova
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Storyline

A small village in the Russian campaign is inhabited only by few old women and a boy. When a family of refugees arrives they are at first opposed by the community, but eventually they'll be accepted and help revive the village.

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

1 January 2004 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Las viejas See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
A refreshing example of a positive, optimistic and truly humanistic Russian movie
15 March 2005 | by yahinSee all my reviews

A nice touching story about a group of old women living the rest of their days in a dying Russian village inhabited only by old women and a Down-syndrome guy.

The women are frequented by the local tank-unit commander helping the old, often in exchange for home-brewed vodka, who is in fact the only respectable and influential person in the neighborhood.

The situation changes when the village is entered by a newly arrived family of Uzbek refugees who are the only ones who do care for the old women. The film consequently shows how the initial hostility to the aliens grows out into true friendship when the old women realize that these Uzbeks are their "comrades in distress" that has whirled most of the former Soviet population in the maelstrom of wars, alienation, privation, break of social ties and betrayal by their rulers, that was going under the propagandistic kettle-drums of "democracy" and national prides. Sadly enough, the high words have been used as a cover for corruption and marauding by political elites often, sadly, backed by the irrelevant (putting it mildly) and superficial advice by Western "analysts" and "consultants" willing to implement university-learned "theories" but hardly acquainted with real life in general and having seen Russia/Soviet Union only on CNN or from their government-sponsored elite apartments.

Politics aside, this is the personal optimism and desire to enjoy the life carried out by the main hero, an Uzbek, that revives the village. Extrapolating, personal responsibility and energy is the only thing that drives positive changes in the former Soviet Union countries where the settings of social darwinism are implemented by profit-driven "native" (including those praised by the West as "democratic") elites and contributed by fear-of-the-unknown-inspired hostility of the West.

Good art direction and brilliant work of the native village women who have never previously had any relation to cinema. It seems that even the dialogues are improvised because it is hardly believable that a modern script writer can invent such grains coming out of the very depths of the Russian language. This creates a minor problem of numerous foul (i.e. bitter and sincere) expressions coming from the bottom of the old women's soul (which, however, would hardly find their way to subtitles). In general, the old women's Russian is so colorful and spicy, it might be hardly understood by those (including some urban Russians) used to the literary form of the language and rarely encountering older or dialectal forms.

Overall, a refreshing example of a positive, optimistic and truly humanistic movie close to the Russian realities (unlike the official-optimism crap found today in some Russian TV series "created" by newly-born Russian TV producers).

7/10. Recommended.


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