Sascha lives in a village on the Kola Peninsular in northern Russia and dedicatedly manages what is left of an old collective farm. He gets on well with his farm workers who respect him and tolerate his clandestine love-affair with Anya.
The young businessman Sasha is presented with a choice: having received compensation, to leave peacefully the adjusted economy and to go to the city with the girlfriend or to enter dangerous fight against new owners to assert the rights of the people living on his earth.
At the beginning of the movie, we meet Sascha, who runs a farm, but is being offered some money to give it away. He is thinking about going to the city and start a new life there, but when he gets back to the farm, his workers tell him that they will fight to keep the farm they have worked hard for and he changes his mind when he sees their passion. We can feel in that moment that things are not going to turn so pretty and fairy-tale like, and, of course, they don't.
"Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn" is a very interesting movie, dark, grim, and with well-rounded characters. It is grim in a very realistic way, showing how the world works, that even when people have the best of intentions to make the best of things, the system, or someone else, will get in the way. All the actors do a great job, even if there is not much material for them to work with. Aleksandr Yatsenko, as Sascha, does a good job to express his feelings with a very quiet interpretation, very understated. There is no overacting in this movie, everyone involved works to show a lot with very little. It has a lot of energy that goes unnoticed, under the lid, boiling up as two worlds class, and reality hits Sascha's naive view of things in the face.
Well worth watching. And at just around 75 minutes, it has not even one moment that feels worthless.
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