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The changes Russia underwent during WWI are revealed in a village on the Russo-German border. Soldiers face the absurdity of trench warfare, while at home the war alters the people, friendships are poisoned by nationalism, and a romance between a Russian and a German POW is greeted with suspicion.
Regarded in Europe as one of the greatest artists of Russian cinema, and virtually unknown elsewhere, Boris Barnet deserves rediscovery. Outskirts is one of his masterpieces, a wildly ambitious sound film (in the days when the technology was new) that is by turns comical, lyrical, and harrowing.