Oleg is a young gifted paramedic. His wife Katya works at the hospital emergency department. She loves Oleg, but is fed up with him caring more about patients than her. She tells him she wants a divorce. The new head of Oleg's EMA substation is a cold-hearted manager who's got new strict rules to implement. Oleg couldn't care less about the rules - he's got lives to save. His attitude gets him in trouble with the new boss. The crisis at work coincides with the personal life crisis. Caught between emergency calls, alcohol-fueled off-shifts, and search for a meaning in life, Oleg and Katya have to find the binding force that keeps them together.Written by
Oleg's life as an emergency medical technician is fraught with trouble and tribulation; hostility to treatments, toxic complaining, serious threats and pointless, relentless stress. Such concerns merely involve Oleg's boss. Patients are trouble too. They include violent drunks, hypochondriacs, religious freaks who refuse treatment and more. Clueless administrators add counterproductive procedures, the menace of layoffs, humiliating assignments and the focus on profits over people. On top of this, Oleg tortures himself with serious bouts of drinking and depression. Of course, nothing in life is more important than your lover. Katya, Oleg's wife, is demanding a divorce for both real and imagined slights. It is hard to tell when Oleg is in or out of the ambulance. He faces key decisions about what or who is most important to him.
Arrhythmia provides a captivating glimpse into the ups and downs of being a Russian EMT. Hand-held cameras further emphasize the erratic nature of this work, and Oleg's relationships and inner turmoil. Scene settings are mostly inside the city, yet on at least one occasion a beautiful birch forest becomes the background. The actors are capable and believable. Arrhythmia is well organized and riveting. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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