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The Stoker
The Stoker
378 Ratings


Deep in the bowels of a seedy, decaying mid-1990s St. Petersburg, Ivan, a Siberian Yakut and Afghan-Soviet war veteran, patiently tends to his fiery furnace, filling his spare time writing a novel, and quietly looking the other way while local mobsters deliver fresh corpses for incineration.

Our take

The shadow of the Afghan War hangs heavy over The Stoker, as Aleksey Balabanov’s fascination with identity reaps its greatest rewards. Falling somewhere between the director’s genre and arthouse features, this terrific return to Russia’s lawless ’90s is a striking study in morality and passivity.