Every night as Sofia falls asleep, her father Djibi takes her into "Storyland", a fantasy film studio where their extraordinary fairy-tale adventures come to life starring Djibi in the lead role as the heroic Prince Charming.
During World War II a french Jewish family is deported to Auschwitz. On the train to the death camp, in a desperate gesture, the father throws one of his twins out into the snow, where he's discovered by a childless Polish couple.
The three children of Chechnyan family are separated by the Russian invasion in 1999. The middle child, 9 year old Hadji, believing his older sister Raissa is dead along with his parents finds a place to leave his baby brother and gets swept up in the migration of survivors away from the war front. The refugees cross out of Chechnya into the town of Nazran in the Republic of Inguishetia in the Russian Federation where Hadji is left at a refugee center. Hadji is befriended by a young Frenchwoman Carole who is documenting the events for the Human Rights Committee of the European Union. Hadji is not speaking at all and Carole doesn't speak Chechnian but Carole provides for Hadji and develops a supportive relationship with him until she can find out his story and what to do with him. Raissa follows Hadji's journey to try to reunite with her two brothers. A second story-line follows a 19 year old Russian student Kolia who gets arrested with marijuana and sent into the army to avoid jail. ...Written by
The film is a reiteration of the Oscar-winning post-Holocaust drama, The Search (1948), directed by Fred Zinnemann, in which a compassionate westerner helps a lost child find what is left of his family amidst the chaotic flood of post-war civilian refugees. See more »
Because of mixed reviews at the showing at the 2014 Cannes Festival, mostly criticizing the length of the movie, the director removed 20 minutes from that cut for the theatrical release. See more »
I don't even know where to begin on how awful this film is. The anti-Russian black and white propaganda aside (no Russian person is depicted in any other way than as a junky, aggressive, delusional, blood-thirsty lunatic), the plot is so full of illogical behaviour of the characters; no deeper development of the characters is done despite the length which is a mere product of poor directing by a person who doesn't know when to say CUT, nor how to instruct the actors to give a little bit more flesh to the bone. What a waste of the funds and trust gained after the "Artist" (although I must admit, I didn't like it either, but it had at least some substance; it was too long as well, I might add). So unnecessarily long. What a mistake of a film. What an obvious and childish propaganda. I guess Hazanavicius was just extremely lucky with the "Artist". Here he showed what a dilettante he actually is. Shame.
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