7.0/10
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1 user 7 critic

Crystal Swan (2018)

Khrustal (original title)
In 1990s Belarus, a wanderlust young DJ is derailed by a typo in a forged US Visa application, forcing her to a backwater village where she is determined to fake her way to the American dream.

Director:

Darya Zhuk

Writers:

Helga Landauer (screenplay by), Darya Zhuk (co-writer)
Reviews
7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Alina Nasibullina ... Velya
Ivan Mulin Ivan Mulin ... Stepan
Yuriy Borisov ... Alik
Svetlana Anikey Svetlana Anikey ... Velya's mother
Ilya Kapanets Ilya Kapanets ... Kostya
Anastasia Garvey Anastasia Garvey ... Vika
Lyudmila Razumova Lyudmila Razumova ... Alya
Natalya Onishenko Natalya Onishenko ... Angela
Anatoliy Golub
Artem Kuren Artem Kuren
Vyacheslav Shakalido Vyacheslav Shakalido ... Mihalych
Guy V. Cimbalo Guy V. Cimbalo ... American Consul (as Guy Cimbalo)
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Storyline

In 1996 a young rebellious DJ tries to make her way to the U.S. She does everything in her power to get out of her motherland but the whole thing goes out on rails when she makes a typo in her Visa application. She tries to correct this mistake by going to the small dysfunctional town of Chrystal. The dysfunctionality in the town challenges her life and mentality she didn't quite believe were possible.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Belarus | USA | Germany | Russia

Language:

Russian | English

Release Date:

30 August 2018 (Belarus) See more »

Also Known As:

Crystal Swan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The official submission of Belarus to the 91st Academy Awards, the country's first submission in 22 years. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eastern European mood in a movie that's easy to love
23 April 2019 | by chimie-340-361128See all my reviews

I was a bit afraid after reading the plot (DJ girl wants to move to US from post-soviet Belorussia at any price) that Chrystal would be a movie made for Western viewers using the Soviet setting just as an exotica, but luckily, this was mostly not the case (the Lenin statues in a disco scene being a rare exception).

The movie captures the classical mood of Eastern Europe - people longing to "the West" - in a credible way, probably because Belorussians, despite living as close to Berlin as to Moscow find it still very hard to move freely to the West (I was even a bit surprised that the officials felt comfortable enough with the movie to send it to the Academy Awards).

It is somehow part of this mood that the movie could both qualify for a tragedy and a comedy: you may smile on the odd characters and small talks but it's very hard to find any character who is not having deep troubles. The makers of the movie seem to sympathize with most of them... I think even the motives of the guy who acts badly (try to avid spoilers here, sorry) are clear to everyone... no-one is pure evil nor an angel here.

I'm curious how this movie works for audiences in the US or Western Europe... for Eastern and Central Europeans (and fans of the region) it's well recommended.


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