Its strong--and uniquely Russian--emotional and visual character is startlingly original, especially in this derivative day and age. The film is also astonishing just for being Balagov's debut. But Zhovner's titanic lead performance is one of the greatest I've ever seen: such a total communication of all that is burning inside her character, with an otherworldly intensity as all-enveloping as the film itself.
You know you are world movie junkie when in the middle of this remarkably destitute world view a 16 year old daughter walks in, looks at the tv, and screams, I think it was the part where the film is to most scatological and to a world movie junkie, normal. Just incredible from beginning to end, the Mom so physical, always touching, the mechanic so bizarre.
3.5 Terrible abstract title. "Hero" would be better. The character of the sister is wonderfully drawn and portrayed. Her family expects her to be a passive, obedient feminine ideal, yet accepts that she's the one who deals with the kidnappers. Her struggle to be free of their strictures, but also to enjoy their love is an impossible conundrum.
[More like 3.5] I love the cinematography, context and character-building. Yet the kind of narration was slow and the plot was confused (I usually do not care much about plot, but here it was a bit frustrating, although the plot was also simple and understandable).
A thing of raw intensity, the feature debut of Kantemir Balagov announces a director to keep an eye on. The singularity of his vision is most flagrantly on display in the expressionist use of montage: disrupting the natural movement of sound and image, he reinscribes the image with a new, abstract meaning, reflective of the lead character's deteriorating interior state.
On Russia's Caucasian edge, a 20yo tomboy faces a crisis that places her between her Jewish family & a Karbadian boyfriend. Balagov employs a suitably cramped (4:3 ratio) and intense style to this family drama. The acting is natural & Zhovner is especially good in the lead role. Note: this film contains footage of real life murders. Viewers need to be alerted to this scene, which, frankly, should have been censored.
I loved the scene where the only noise was the crumpling of the paper as he decided whether or not to leave the envelope, and you watched as his hand slid over the envelope again and again and moved it around the table, and the crumpling! I found the atmosphere of this movie really beautiful and real. The scenery throughout is breathtaking.
Extraordinaria. Una obra maestra. Me parece que dialoga con La sombra de nuestros ancestro olvidados de Parajanov. Me dejó sin aliento por varias escenas. Un logro en la interpretación, un excelente uso de la cámara, del punto de vista, del sonido, en general es una obra completa y compleja.