Sunday, 1 May 2011

Semyon Aranovich: The Year of Dog - Год Собаки (1994)

Director:Semyon Aranovich
Writers:Semyon Aranovich, Zoya Kudrya (screenplay),
Stars:Inna Churikova, Igor Sklyar,Aleksandr Feklistov

Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 1994

Talk about star-crossed lovers. Sergei Koschin (Igor Skljar), an embittered and sometimes violent criminal, has just been released after a long prison term. He meets a shy, middle-aged spinster named Vera Morozova (Inna Churikova) and embarks on a bittersweet romance that quickly turns into a hellish affair. After Sergei stabs Vera’s hostel warden in a dispute over his newfound girlfriend, the couple flees to the countryside in search of sanctuary. They find refuge in an idyllic village. But the idyll turns out to be an illusion: the hamlet is on the outskirts of Chernobyl, contaminated with radiation and abandoned by its inhabitants. Violent events follow each other relentlessly and it’s hard to escape the sense of doom that enshrouds the characters. St. Petersburg-based Semyon Aranovich is best known for the anti-Stalinist documentaries, TV movies and feature films he made during the Soviet era, including The Personal File of Anna Akhmatova, a Golden Gate Award winner here two years ago. His latest work, which received a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in February, is a lyrical and ironic story which takes the “outlaw couple” theme and deepens its social implications. Inna Churikova, star of the recent Adams’s Rib and many films directed by her husband, Gleb Panfilov (Mother, 1991, Theme, SFIFF 1987 and May I Take the Floor? 1975) proves herself once again to be one of the world’s most remarkable film actresses. ...

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