Bakur Bakuradze is a director of great tenacity, of strong stylistic choices, of clear standpoints in the way he looks at Russia to design his stories.
All the qualities he showed in his previous works, including the beautiful documented-fiction short Moscow, are reflected in his film in Un Certain Regard, The Hunter.
The main character of this new film takes something from Bakuradze's previous anti-hero Shultes: a man of not many words and of a strong physical presence (Bakuradze's talent in casting and actors' direction is exceptional). The mise-en-scène (precise even when elliptical, always at the right distance) takes the best from its semi-documentary position to tell of a man, of his handicapped son (how to help him conquer his autonomy), of his lover (a woman prisoner he hired from the town prison manager to work in his farm), of his family and environment.
The film, soft-paced yet filled with tension, in which faces, gestures, actions and words are the tangible result of an obviously patient and keen observation of reality and people, can be seen as a melancholic song, a ballad sung in an undertone. The woman prisoner is liberated and has to go back to...what? The boy with a bad arm will be able to hunt together with his dad, the farm-factory will go on and maybe expand...yet everybody, somehow and at times, is "Humiliated and Insulted." Even the father-hunter-boss.
Not a "typically Russian" film, stylistically picturesque, not a film that summons the masters nor provides ready-to-use references: just contemporary cinema.