Anya, an aloof and love-spurned graduate student, is on the run from the police when she meets young Kristina, a precocious orphan determined to find the only family she has left. The pair embark on a harrowing and unpredictable odyssey hitchhiking across the intimidating terrain of Russia.
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A very well written film. The format is like many others but the director uses an original way to present the storytelling. Though without sophistication, this film is emotionally deep. It presents, in my opinion, all the aspects of cold and problematic Russian society from a woman's point of view.
Nothing very profound or new here, in fact it's rather predictable. But the performances by the girls are very good, and engaging emotionally. A mainstream Russian drama, better than a mainstream American one anyway. 3.5*
Despite a very strong turn by lead Polina Pushkaruk the melodrama and weak performance by ypung Vika Lobachova undo any intentions the director may have had. This tale of two orphans, one masquerading as younger than she is, travelling together towards Kazakhstan becomes overtly sentimental and cloying as it plods on. A miss.
An intimate yet far-ranging post-Soviet road movie by an Estonian director, filmed in Russian, with Kazakhstan as the destination. Reflects the fatalistic and melancholy outlook of orphans who are left to fend for themselves. Polina Pushkaruk adeptly anchors the movie as the somber ingénue; Victoria Lobacheva, as her ragamuffin sidekick, captures both the chaotic anger and sad naivete of a child hungry for affection.
3.5 An unusual take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. Found Anya's naivete as a lovesick grad student unbelievable, given her strong personality in orphanage high school where she has no problem saying "I changed my mind." Beautiful scenery. Devastating tragedy. Christine is a trying personality, but she helps get Anya to Grandmother's house. Not so sure it's good for Anya to revert to an even younger age!