Deeply interior film, which, typically, for Sokurov transforms in sepia a son's mourning for his father to an allegorical vision of Soviet Leviathan and nuclear angst. With Beckettian vignettes it thrives on the meaninglessness of a darkened life-world penetrated by instrumental reason making also subtle gestures to the holocaust and the archipelago. Dystopian, it leaves little room for hope, yet it is compelling.
some moments of such lucid clarity albeit with an occasional tendency to veer into an affected homage/ripoff of Tarkovsky and Tarr. satisfyingly grim and awful lighting (maybe the print?). assuming that this was supposed to be some sort of forced analogy for the death of the ussr, or Tarkovsky being the father and Sokurov the son doing everything to disappoint him.
At points confounding and serene. I think the blend of sacred loss and mundane proves equally effective in the viewer to be at times so bored and also hushed with emotions. I find I usually like Sokurov most in idea over execution, but there are moments of this film that stagger and haunt.