A remote village in the Northwest of Russia. A mental asylum is located in an old wooden house. The place and its inhabitants seem to be untouched by civilization. In this pristine setting no articulate human voice is heard, and pain is muted.
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Excellent. Atmospheric and gentle portrayal of people in the landscape, blurred outlines, blurred minds maybe, the rural life seems to soothe and engage them. Seems pretty tranquil, maybe there's another side to things though?
As at least one other Mubi reviewer has noted, Werner Herzog seems a discernible influence here. The imposition of a surreal imagination upon documentary form, the unsettling eloquence of landscape, the dislocations of narrative and above all a fascination with characters on the extreme edge of society are all reminiscent of the German director's work. A minimalist but quietly unnerving piece of film-making.
The countryside sounds and haunting photography create the atmosphere, both inviting and tense. Tension not constructed with rhythm but with eerie lack of direction. Slowly that turns into the reverse of the feeling of being watched. It's an odd feeling of voyeurism. These people are aware of the camera. They have a childish discrete misbehaved humour. They belong to that landscape. The camera is a goshtly spotlight.
je ne sens pas la douleur quand je regarde ces images empreintes de douceur et d'effacement. un renoncement plutôt, est-ce cela que la critique Mubienne appelle douleur ? image sublime dans le sens mystique !
Wanted this film to go on forever! The extraordinary is in the ordinary ..the tobacco smoke lingering after the frame is empty of people, the musician left playing on his own .. abstract noises of unrecognisable dialogue . Beautiful, tranquil and, again, thought provoking.