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Ashes in the Snow (2018)

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In 1941, a 16 year-old aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin's brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. One girl's passion for art and her never-ending hope will break the silence of history.

Writers:

Ben York Jones (screenplay by), Ben York Jones | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
James Cosmo ... Mr. Stakas
Sophie Cookson ... Ona
Bel Powley ... Lina
Peter Franzén ... Commander Komarov
Lisa Loven Kongsli ... Elena
Martin Wallström ... Nikolai Kretzsky
Jonah Hauer-King ... Andrius Aras
Sam Hazeldine ... Kostas Vilkas
Adrian Schiller ... The Man Who Winds His Watch
Tom Sweet Tom Sweet ... Jonas Vilkas
Timothy Innes ... Nojus
Aiste Dirziute ... Joana
Ieva Andrejevaite Ieva Andrejevaite
Dolya Gavanski ... Mrs. Aras
Nadja Bobyleva ... Marija
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Storyline

In 1941, a 16 year-old aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin's brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. One girl's passion for art and her never-ending hope will break the silence of history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by True Events.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Lithuania | USA

Language:

English | Russian | Lithuanian

Release Date:

12 October 2018 (Lithuania) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashes in the Snow See more »

Filming Locations:

Lithuania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To avoid potential confusion with 50 Shades of Gray, many alternative titles were considered to replace the original title, "Between Shades of Gray". Screenwriter Ben York Jones came up with Ashes in the Snow, for its similarity in cadence, and its narrative significance. See more »

Goofs

In one shot of the train, modern locomotive (probably TEM-TMH) is visible. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stalin's evil
11 January 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Most World War II films focus on the atrocities committed by Hitler's German forces, but this adaptation of Ruta Sepetys' novel ("Between Shades of Gray") reminds us of the evils under Stalin and the Russian seizure of the Baltic States. Director Marius A Markevicius delivers a feature film debut that is both historical drama and tale of human perseverance.

We have long since been educated on just how cruel humans can and have been to other humans, and director Markevicius - with a script from Ben York Jones (LIKE CRAZY, 2011) - doesn't shy away from the cruelty or atrocities, but he and cinematographer Ramunus Greicius capture the harshness and brutality of the Siberian environment, as well as the brief moments when those being held captive feel sparks of life.

Bel Powley (THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, 2015) stars as Lina, a young Lithuanian artist who lives with her family: mother Elena (Lisa Loven Kongsli, FORCE MAJEUR) and brother Jonas (Tom Sweet). The father/husband is played by Sam Hazeldine and we learn of his secret agenda and activism later in the film. When Russian troops forcibly remove mother and the two kids from their home, a long train ride ends with their working the fields in the Altai Labor Camp in Siberia.

Martin Wallstrom is excellent as Kretzky, a conflicted Russian soldier from the Ukraine. He's kind of persona non-grata on both sides, and as an outsider to the troops and the "devil" to the prisoners, he is somewhat of a sympathetic character. A year later (1942), the family and Officer Kretzky are shipped off to Laptev Sea in the Arctic Circle. This frozen tundra is no place for human beings and death seems preferable to freezing in misery. When giving the relocation order, Kretzky's commanding officer calls them "one big happy family in frozen hell". It's a great line. An acutely descriptive line.

Young Lina's childhood innocence has been shattered, but she possesses an inner strength that only such miserable circumstances could unveil. She carries on finding brief respites in her art and in fleeting romance with fellow prisoner Andrius (Jonah Hauer-King).

There is a story told, a legend really, about a fishing boat and its survivors - the correlation made late in the film. The devastating circumstances and desolate landscape are accompanied aptly by German composer Volker Bertelmann. But let's face it, war crimes against the innocent are tough to watch even in movie form, and this film, regardless of how expertly it's crafted, is relentless in bleakness - though heartfelt and sincere.


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