A young Kyrgyz girl, Ayka, lives and works illegally in Moscow. After giving birth to her first child, she doesn't feed the infant but stages an impromptu breakout through the window of the maternity ward. Over the course of the next few days, she goes searching for a job all the while trying to keep the birth secret. She finds work at a chicken processing facility, only to learn that her boss has decided to skip town without paying his employees. This sets in motion a new wave of anxiety for the young woman, who needs to pay off her menacing creditors. While searching for a way to make money, her motherly yearning leads her to desperate attempts at finding the abandoned child. —Happy_Evil_Dude
starkingly real depiction of modern Moscow
Millions of migrants have been living in Moscow since mid 2000s. They take all kinds of work and receive wages that seem humiliating even to native Russians who are themselves mostly paid worse than anywhere in Europe. This movie is a well executed attempt to relive one of their mostly invisible lives, consciously ignored by both government and general public. This might be the only feature movie that puts some harsh, Dardenne-style light onto this part of life in Russia. It presents no answers or ideas, not even in a metaphorical way (almost). Instead it follows an indebted girl fighting with herself and recognizable features of modern Moscow: alienation, hypocrisy, absence of rule of law, acute social stratification. No person in the movie looks too horrible or too humane. The environment of the city however seems to be the thing that keeps everybody in a sort of struggling motion, depreciating hopes and turning them into little nightmares that further dissolve or turn into silent tragedies. No overdramatisation or extra lipstick is present however. Definitely something to watch.
- May 7, 2020
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