The film represents life in a godforsaken Russian village. The only way to reach the mainland is to cross the lake by boat and a postman became the only connection with the outside world. A...
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One place. One day. Two men. The place is a polar research station on an island in the Arctic Ocean, inhabited now only by Sergei and Pavel. One day when Sergei is out angling, Pavel picks up a radio message that he daren't communicate.
In Soviet Union in 1936, a shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. An accusations of being him a foreign spy are nonsense, and all known that, but a slow process of his life's downfall is already running.
The film represents life in a godforsaken Russian village. The only way to reach the mainland is to cross the lake by boat and a postman became the only connection with the outside world. A reserved community has been set up here. Despite the modern technologies and a spaceport nearby the people of the village live the way they would in the Neolithic Era. There is neither government nor social services or jobs. The postman's beloved woman escapes the village life and moves to the city. Postman's outboard engine gets stolen and he can no longer deliver mail. His normal pattern of life is disrupted. The postman makes a decision to leave for the city too but returns before long with no certain reason. The script is based on real characters' stories. People from the village play their own parts in the film. The search for the protagonist lasted for over a year.Written by
Production Center of Andrei Konchalovsky
This film may be much too subtle for some who are accustomed to the Hollywood-type lowest common denominator message delivery. The conversations and interactions are not stylized or dramatized - they are very natural. The scenery is stern and beautiful and the camera work is magnificent. What is especially remarkable is how gently and thoughtfully the characters are portrayed. The postman is an exceptionally kind soul. He is not handsome or muscular and he does not commit any violent acts but he is still "created in God's image" and, in his own way, very heroic. Others may be superfluous, primitive and flawed, but the film manages to fully humanize them and make them very sympathetic and likable. Another reviewer mentioned the contrast between the launch of the space rocket and the simple life of the villagers, but that is not the main point of the film. However poor these people are, the rocket does not diminish their humanity. In fact, the characters do not even notice it. It does not matter anymore that the spaceships are plowing the expanses of the universe. The scenes where the postman looks at a little ant, or hears the sounds of the past in the decaying school building, are even more profound. The important and skillfully developed idea here is that, however remote this place is, the now abandoned people living there still got caught up in the historical events forced upon them, and those events left them scarred for life.
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