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A very welcome change of perspective on the Great Patriotic War
Among the movies on 2nd world war coming from Russia these last few years, "vremia sobirat' kamni" - "time for picking stones" (instead of throwing them, from the biblical quote) offers at last a vision that goes beyond brainless patriotism (Zvezda) or self-indulging nihilism (svoi).
It presents two people whose lives have been changed, and not for the better, by war. The third character, namely an interpret, is the go-between who will try to bridge the gap between them.
On a background of little Russian towns and villages, the trio comes across various situations, each one a symbol of the way people try to cope with a former enemy who comes to help them undo the wrong he thinks he helped to create.
True, the plot tends to be a bit heavy on sentimentalism and some of the scenes may lack finesse. But the intimistic approach of this mainly symbolic movie was a challenge, and I think the director and the three main actors did an excellent job despite a few awkward scenes. I especially liked the performance of Olga Krasko, thoroughly believable and moving.
Anyway, the movie succeeds in making its point. It is a message of tolerance, something sorely needed in the context of growing xenophobia, rewriting of history and nostalgia of the Empire reflected by the mainstream Russian blockbusters.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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