It’s easy to read the [final] scene as a kind of symbolic purgative revenge against Russian power. But the sequence and the film ends more enigmatically—it’s not a simple act of aggression against an outside oppressor, but one that is directed just as intensely and self-destructively inward. There is no catharsis in My Joy. There is no victory. Indeed, as the recent events in the Ukraine show, post-Communist independence is a liberty that only goes so far.
March 24, 2014