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203 Ratings

The Settlement


Directed by Sergei Loznitsa
Russia, 2002


Perception is the key to Sergei Loznitsa’s wordless black and white film-essay The Settlement, which gradually envelops the viewer in the day-to-day activities of a rural mental institution in Russia.

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The Settlement Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

Awards & Festivals

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

2001 | 2 special mentions including: Best Documentary

Critics reviews

This isn’t institutional documentation à la Wiseman. Facets of banal existence don’t contribute to a greater whole so much as become atomized into frames of movement, which flow into each other over the course of the film’s somewhat attenuated 77-minutes. It closes with an emphatic affirmation of humanity: portraits of the settlement’s inhabitants, accompanied by an atypical use of music; then the fog rolls in once more, and the margins of existence disappear from sight.
February 27, 2017
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An early dissolve, from thick fog crawling across a mysterious landscape to arrow-straight sunrays illuminating a farmhouse, recalls the hokey exposition of a 1930s Universal horror film; add to this the film’s overexposed monochrome cinematography, and the resulting atmosphere is suggestive of a disquieting fiction film rather than an observational documentary.
August 03, 2015
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