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.
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 appealing tale of two orphan girls hitch-hiking across Russia but threatened and failed by men along the way is ultimately and ironically let down by the male director. The young female actors largely deliver on a potentially heart-breaking story but the director's insistence on the focus on his skills in the choice of settings, lighting and music leads to a want to remain detached from the film's core drama.
This film is so sad and poignant it should come with some sort of a health warning! I found myself sobbing out loud on at least three occasions. The two principal actors are outstanding, particularly Vika Lobachova as the younger girl.