A series of odd coincidences has left Lukas, an interpreter for an OSCE military checkpoint inspection tour, stranded near a small southern Ukrainian steppe town. With nowhere to turn, this city boy finds shelter at the home of a colorful local named Vova.
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4.5. I was reminded of the Romanian film, Tales from the Golden Age, in how this absurdist film could only have been wrought from the realities of the area of southern Ukraine depicted, as Tales is peculiar Communist-era Romania. Yet it transcends this particularity as a brilliantly realized existential comedy and a disturbing look at the uncertain chaos left in the wake of war.
The last static shot is indicative of the rhythmic deficits in what this film toys with, namely a poetic meditation on an invaded Ukraine's limbo. The same happens with the oscillation between dystopian parable and deadpan comedy with result that neither work, except sporadically. The hyperreal epiphanies are occasionally good but, overall, the film's potential is wasted in eccentric and unrewarding style acrobatics.
Poetic meditation on life that reminds me a bit of 'Woman in the Dunes'. He's that guy who has everything figured out, and doesn't want to listen to anyone. Which gets him into a lot of trouble. Gradually he loses that sense of being trapped.
Want to make a dumb joke about how they really need to get AAA in the Ukraine, but only to distract from my inability to get a handle on what I just saw. Loved that the plot was not trite or guessable in any way. Loved that the characters were all operating on different, unpredictable wavelengths. Loved the field of dead sunflowers. Ultimately terrifying that the hero never escapes this lawless, surreal world.
Beautiful visuals with a lot of symbolism and political commentary. Maybe not the strongest plot, but that’s what makes it work. There’s no end goal, story doesn’t progress, you’re stranded in this Kafkaesque narrative with Lucas.
Starting from the first plan it has magnificent shots. It annoyingly pulls you inside the surreal world of the movie. Even it could need some background info to be fully understood, it doesn't prevent you to feel all the emotions of the forgotten land.