Siberia (2019) Poster


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Art of nonsense
MR-Katt15 December 2020
Where to start this movie is totally nonsense just random scenes in random places with random dialogues all together leads to noweher ,and you will ask yourself what was the point of all this ..why did i waste time for a movie that has no begining and no end and nothing in between ? some say it's symbolic but of what exactly ? a dream ? sorry but my dreams makes more sense . the only attraction this movie used is the famouse willem dafoe sex scenes and plenty of nude women that is all in there nothing more . very empty movie that is just waste of time .
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Good to have a Ferrara ! Films that try to figure out something!
martinsonnensberger25 February 2020
I just watched it at Berlinale festival and liked it. Many people left the theatre during the film. For example when they saw a naked person or something they might not understand. Sure, it's not a Larry wants Harry to meet Barry film. I watched such horrible films. The last days. And this one was beautifully shot. People are not able anymore to just watch and try to understand. They need it all clear and dull. And as soon they see a naked woman they call it sexist, even when it's intention is the complete opposite. It's a philosophical film about life and relationships and also about the human nature and nature itself within its powers way beyond ours. It's episodically filmed with many layers. I'm so saddened about what I experienced around me in the cinema. Ferrara was always edgy and thank god he is. That's art. That's freedom of art. Unpleasant. My favorite film of the Berlinale so far.
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Alexander_Blanchett24 February 2020
I am not going to say much About this film. Because there simply isnt much to say exccept for Willem Dafoe Walking through Scenes that makes no sense. Yes I understand its all symbolic, but this can be done SO much better, also technically. Its one of the worst films I have EVER seen on the Berlinale. A real shame for Willem Dafoe who I love dearly. Abel Ferrera really went to far with it. The only redeeming Quality are the fantastic nature shots and cinematography in General. Everything else is just really downright useless, forgetable and boring.
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Growing on you/old?
kosmasp23 March 2020
Abel Ferrara is not a director who makes movies that are easy. I had my issues with movies of his. They are not easy, some will call them art, others boring and/or annoying. Some will call them other things (this has quite a lot of nudity for example). One thing is for sure, this is not aiming to be easy to digest or just plain entertainment.

If you are aware of that and the fact that the movie goes back and forth, not just timeline wise, but also in the mind of the protagonist (hard to explain, but you'll get it). The movie also tries out many things - it is about aging outside while remaining young inside. It is about what we think is real and what actually is. There are many different layers to this and the movie is also about isolation.

So while I'm sure that more will dislike the movie (which is already apparent in the voting/rating) and how I rated it, if you watch this open minded and actualy watch it again - you'll discover a lot of things. I'm sure there is even more there than I did catch.
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The Madness of Boredom
Tweetienator18 December 2020
If my dreams would be that boring, I would simply stay awake till I get some real trippy stuff going on in my mind. Verdict: pseudo-artsy-intellectual movie that achieved mainly one emotion in my soul: boredom by torture. Some introspective scenes including some nudity and violence don't make something good by itself, and even Mr. Dafoe's acting skills could not save this movie for me - and I really like some of his more experimental and trippy movies like The Lighthouse (2019, also directed by Abel Ferrara) or Antichrist (2009, Lars von Trier).
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TruthSeeker4Life15 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
There is no flow to the movie. You will be seeing one scene which will all of a sudden switch to a completely different scene/situation and not understand what the heck is going on. Of course, all the flaws of the film will be covered up and excused because they will label it artistic. The art in this film reminds me the art where the artists has a canvas, paint, and throws the paint all over the canvas, which in the end is just paint blotters etc all over a canvas which is now worth 3 million dollars. The absurdity of this film, and the many others like it, where they just use art as a way to excuse their poor product really bothers me. I do not know what is wrong with William Dafoe, but he has been acting in some mega-dumb movies and just things that are really creepy. What was with him kissing on the pregnant woman's belly and grab her boobs while the grandma was there staring like it was some sort of semi-porn flick gone horribly wrong?!

IDK but if you choose to watch this load of donkey dung then all the luck to you! I can't believe I wasted my time watching this. The only thing that was good about the film was the scenery. Honestly!
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Lost in style Warning: Spoilers
"Siberia" is a new 2020 movie and one of the first films shown here in my regular theaters after reopening after the COVID-19 pandemy. It runs for minimally over 90 minutes, so it is not a particularly long movie, but this should not really surprise anybody because the writer and director is American Abel Ferrara and he has made many films that are not too long. For this one here, he has collaborated again with Christ Zois, who helped Ferrara with the screenplay on many occasions. Bit despite Ferrara's origin, the United States are not one of the countries credited here in terms of the production. No less than four countries we have. Also from pretty different areas of the world if we look at Mexico. My country Germany is also one of them and this may at least partially explain why this film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival where it was also a nominee. Not a winner though and I can see why. I will get to that later. The lead actor here is Oscar nominee (will he ever win?) Willem Dafoe and he was basically also the only reason why I decided to check this film out at the cinema. Really like him a lot. Well, here he plays a man working at a pub far away from civilization because the pub is located in the area mentioned in the film's title. He likes his solitude, but still has customers here and there, just not too many and barely enough to keep him from going crazy. Or maybe he already did, who knows? It was really not clear in this movie. One thing I thought of though was that Dafoe starred in another film with focus on isolation not too long ago, the lighthouse movie next to Robert Pattinson and fittingly there was a trailer before this film here that showed us Pattinson briefly in Chris Nolan's new movie. But let's not drift too far away now. The lighthouse movie I just mentioned received a much better reception and will probably also be seen by many more people than this one here. But I am sure neither Ferrara nor Dafoe will be too mad about it. These two have worked together on many occasions already as I read and clearly they have become friends. Ferrara is even slightly older than dafor, who is not exactly a spring chicken anymore either. But it was his performance here that at least kept me slightly interested overall.

Like I said, this film felt very much style over substance. Early on, in the first half, we even have some kind of audio jump scare here and there, slightly video jump scare too occasionally, and luckily this was not thhe case in the second half anymore. There are many bizarre moments though that could have needed better elaboration, such as the scene with the fish at the very end. Or very early on, the scene with the guy who enters and is basically the protagonists doppelganger. The father-son theme wwas an interesting here, also how they included it with the shaving foam, but could have needed slightly better elaboration. Or the really pregnant woman who undresses inside the pub and then proceeds to have sex with the main character. Or the other unknown character who has some wisdom for Dafoe's character and immediately afterwards, the latter begins to sing and dance. Really catchy song by the way. I will catch up on that one and try to find it. Somehow it sounded familiar. So yeah, there are more bizarre moments and scenes like this, like for example the naked female freak show we get that felt like a nightmare. Dreams are certainly a very valid thing in this movie, although I am not sure they can explain anything that is going on here. Let alone everything. Another frequent inclusion here are female breasts really. Like naked female boobs. I guess this is why the film was shown this late. And again, it felt very much for the sake of it all, but not really making an impact whatsoever. Neither an artistic impact, nor an impact in terms of story telling. The weirdest moment was when at the end he has sex again, with an Asian I think and then she turns into a Black woman and then into the blonde he has been talking about before that. That dialogue was also a bit on the pretentious side and the actress there was really walking the fine line betwween nailing the part and overacting. She is also only included in this scene and not really known. just like almost everybody else except Dafoe. He is the one star here. The cast is also really diverse. Maybe, this explains the Mexico inclusion. Not sure. Most characters here speak Russian to Dafoe's character and he does not understand them. This, however, was intended like that and there are no subtitles for what they are saying. We are only supposed to understand the main character when he speaks English. And struggle together with him when it comes to understand everybody else. Then again, even if we had understood them, the story would not have been much clearer. I found it interesting that there was so much speaking in the form of a monologue and introduction voice-over from the central character right at the very start, but for the rest of the movie there was almost nothing. At least no long dialogues with the exception perhaps of the man who gets the "hero" to sing and dance, the one I mentioned earlier already. So yeah, I did not enjoy this film too much. Not enough for a positive recommendation. The beautiful snow landscapes were nice, but also could have been shown more often, but then again I feel it was much more about what was going on inside. Huskies rule though. So beautiful this special breed of dogs. It could be that this was the first collaboration between Ferrara and Dafoe (from five or six out there), but I must say the outcome here did not get me curious about the others, so I won't check them out any time soon. "Siberia" gets a thumbs-down from me. Not worth it, not even for my fellow Dafoe fans. Maybe only for hardcore Ferrara fans. He forgot thhe story and continuity here while coming up with one stylistic scene and shot after the next. Watch something else instead.
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An exploration into the language of dreams
aldiboronti14 December 2020
And appropriately I fell asleep halfway through. I did wake up eventually and watch it all but only with a few cups of coffee to keep me going. I usually love Ferrara and thought I could watch Dafoe in anything. This tested that theory to destruction. Oh there are some excellent scenes but on the whole it's just so soporific. Maybe it's all that snow..............................
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Another Fascinating Dafoe-Ferrara Collaboration
HaydenWelch24 March 2020
"You don't live in the world... do you actually believe you'll find your soul here."

So glad Abel Ferrara took the route he did with this. It's subtle with these momentarily bursting efforts; has a really great dream-like quality to it. While this is very similar to his newest films - namely Tomasso and Pasolini - it is extremely distinct. And while they do tackle similar themes, this feels way more restrained and not nearly as broad, which is nice for the story it's try to tell and the setting it's attempting to explore.

In some of his newer work Abel Ferrara can occasionally topple himself over in a self-depreciation and overstated thematic motifs that can ruin the experience, and I'm glad to say I don't find this to be the case in Siberia. I feel like the moments of ambition are highly earned, with only one or two gratuitous "Ferraraisms" to boot - he really cannot avoid trippy and space shots of galaxies over fades - but that that doesn't ruin the experience by a long shot.

With all this self-searching and multi-faceted thematic ideologies I find it interesting how presentationally bold this film is. Not only does the overstated direction match the scenic elements so well, the motif of shadows pairing with mixed duality really struck me as interesting - scratch that... I find *everything* about Siberia to be interesting, and for the most part as well-executed as it is ambitious.

Would Recommend!
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Berlinale Review
hannifroehlich1 March 2020
I saw Siberia at the Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival) and man, let me put it like this - it definately was an experience. Dafoe once again does a great job and there are some beautiful shots of the landscape but what striked me the most was Ferrara's symbolism. Tho it's not at the level of Jodorowsky it leaves enough space for interpretation which makes this movie great to talk about afterwards. Personally I liked the second half of the movie better, maybe because it took some time to establish the mood or maybe it is because there barely are any dialogues in the first 20 minutes. I liked the film, it was an interesting (tho at times disturbing) watch. And yeah, the fish kills it.
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Interesting arthouse movie
franklindf15 December 2020
I did enjoy this movie but I can't say I understood it or any message it may have carried. My own interpretation is there is a hermit (Dafoe) living in remote Siberia, although it might seem more like sub-Arctic North America. Anyway, probably due to isolation, the hermit has vivid dreams/nightmares that appear as dream sequences interwoven seamlessly with the basic storyline. The dreams are quite varied, and range from serene and peaceful situations to violent pandemonium. Some of the dreams get into philosophical issues and seem to be triggered by memories or life reflections going back to childhood. Beyond that it's hard to say what it all means, as with dream interpretations. Dafoe does well in this role and it's nicely filmed. Some of the scene transitions are abrupt and the sound volume changes could be a little annoying. Overall, it's an artistic film that is experienced more so than watched. I liked it but wasn't left with much to think about or process other than my impressions.
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Active imagination
MiguelAReina17 January 2021
In his attempt to film dreams, Abel Ferrara shows a nightmare. Although the images of Willem Dafoe in a remote and frozen place visited by characters he doesn't understand, are mysterious, the hallucinatory journey becomes confusing. Based on the active imagination that Carl Jung showed in "The red book," this representation of the dream world feels scattered and somehow more ordinary than it would have us believe.
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Friday bite
Stanlee10718 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
What the hell did I just watch?! William Defoe carries this multi layered story. One could argue that this film may refer to him being in an inner hell or purgatory...

This poses so many questions that the writers do not spoon feed you the answers. That may be frustrating for some viewers that wants definitive answers but I suppose this is an art-y film. It is like the light house on drugs. Some will despise that but hey that is the only way I can accurately describe this film.
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Weird! Don't bother!
scotsdavy14 January 2021
Sorry, but it started like watching paint dry. Then it jumped about to different scenes all the time and no explanation of what was going on. If you can't sleep at night, then watch this and you will soon drift off...
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Another personal film from Ferrara--a philosophical meta-film with hallucinations
JuguAbraham3 January 2021
Another personal film from Abel Ferrara, looking back at his past with real life wife and son in the film playing some characters--here as a Russian girl and his son, respectively (as in his earlier "Tommaso".) Siberia is a meta-film with hallucinations that resemble a horror film (which it definitely is not) with 5 huskies pulling his sled in snow in one sequence and accompanying him to a hot Sahelian desert oasis in another. Clint (Willem Dafoe) is once again Ferrara's alter ego searching for philosophical answers to his own life thus far from his family and practitioners of the "dark arts." The answer he gets from one of them is that he lacks compassion, and that he should forego reason. A fish that he ate to the bone the previous night outside his burnt abode in the snow becomes alive the next morning in the same pan. Ferrara seems to accept a larger force that defies reason. One of his best films so far for me.
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Wild ride
neil-kevin2 January 2021
Went into this film blind and when it was over it left me wanting more. What a hidden gem of a film. Such a unique way to shoot some of the scenes. From where it starts to where it takes you is a disturbing and chilling ride which challenges your own humanity.
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Abel Ferrara's Tree of Life...
yusufpiskin26 December 2020
"Time will pass and you'll continue to be lost."

Dafoe's character, living as a dead man, seems lost. We watch as he searches for the unknown, for nothing perhaps, or simply just the end of the road. He aimlessly navigates through his memories, through various terrains, digging up a history of traumatic confusion which amasses into nothing in particular. Wait, I'm lost as well, what was I trying to say? It's like I'm Thinking of Ending Things if it were made from the emotive part of the brain and not the logical one.
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Lomliest place on earth
blackmamba9997124 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Siberia is what a person would call the last bastion of a human attempt to understand what the human condition really means. Abel Ferrara who directed this film gave us a concept of what would happen to an individual if he or she decided to live in the most remote regions in an unforgiving country. Willem Dafoe played such a man whose past life was marred with bad memories that seemed to squeeze into his concept of reality.

Each scene from start to finish were riddled with allegorical statements on whether or not he should have stayed back in america to move on with his life, or stay in Siberia to experience more of what his dream like visions had to offer. Each character had a life of its own permeating with his flashes of either horror, or joy, sadness and regret, which he abhorred the most.

What was most constant was that Abel described on how every character seemed to cohesively interact with one another as if by instinct. That no matter how trivial or complicated a vision would get, Dafoe's character seemed to allow every person a say in his quest or that they somehow needed to express their own opinion in various ways to help his understanding on why he needs to move on with his life rather than sink even further into madness.

Siberia to me is a unique film. Filled with emotions on different levels, with nudity which all humans experience in dreams, and nouveau like captures that we try to comprehend as fantastical elements. Dreams are never the same. They tend to twist, bind, release and startle the dreamer to the point of jolting themselves awake but can never remember what the dream actually was.

Aside from Siberia, another movie The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez, this film came close to that but without all of the ritzy sets, and lavish costumes. Siberia was meant to be harsh, rugged, visceral as well as creating an abundance of uncertainty. I give it seven out of ten stars for creativity, locations, theme and original concept. On the downside, even though it was entertaining to see what would happen next, the film had me lose grip on the story.

There was no objective to Dafoe's character. Did he leave Siberia? Did he stay further on? Would there be closure to his past rather than staring up into a grey stormy sky at the end? No one would know. Maybe that's what Abel was pushing for but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that there was nothing except a possible decision on Dafoe's character to go home or stay and rebuild the backwoods tavern again.for those lonely neighbours who come by using dogsleds.
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