I've read other users' review and noticed that the director could make some of the audience convinced of the seriousness of this film and make them think of "real" situation of contemporary Russian society.
That may be one of main intentions of the director. But I think I's better to look back the whole story and to remember many ambiguous points intentionally left by the author. This film is not so simple as it seems to be. I tell you why.
First, the title of the film: everyone who studied Russian literature knows that "Krotkaya" is the same title of F.Dostoevsky's famous novella, and every true lover of author's cinema knows that novella was already made into a film by Robert Bresson. So I,not being too informed of this film, expected that its is Loznitsa's new adaptation of Dostoevsky's story. We can soon realize that it is not. There's nothing in common with that. This is probably the entrance for audience to go into a play with the author.
Second, this film seems full of stereotyped "uncivilized" and "anti-human" images of Russia. Those who are only funs of art-house cinema, not too interested in Russian literature and without deep knowledge of Russian language and habits, probably will take them as "realistic" details. So they will also think that there's really such "Siberian" prison camp near the station named "Otradnoe"(which means "joyful").By the way, there isn't such a prison town in Siberia, as far as I searched on Russian "Wikipedia". Then we enter the second stage of the game. The place is not "real" in any way. When heroine asks an old man the way to the office where she is allegedly be able to address her complaint to the authorities, he tells her a complicated way with streets' names with Lenin, Marx and Dzerzhinsky(Felix Dserzhinsky was the first leader of Soviet secret police). On the wall of that office we can see a portrait of Stalin. It will be impossible in contemporary Russia for such office for defending citizen''s human rights.Well, anti-humanistic nature of contemporary Russia is "symbolized" in such a way?
"Stalinist" theme was orchestrated even before heroine's arrival to the prison town, when she was in the train. Two war veterans sing "The song of 3 tank drivers" form Stalinist film "Traktoristy"(1939) . It's not the single case of reference to old Soviet and Russian cinema. The town which gradually began to look unrealistic and the neighbouring forest with a kitsch house where costume party is held, provide clear reference to one of Kafka-like films of "perestroika" period "Zero city"(1988). And the following violent rape scene within prison car is a reference to "Khrustalyov, mashinu!"(1998) by Alexei German. So the third and the last layer of the game with audience is that of pure association, of cultural memory of Soviet period. This layer also includes the music for celebration, formulas of patriotic speech, etc.
As a whole, "Krotkaya" betrays expectations of those who got into the first and second layers of the film and want to find in it any reference to "concrete" situation within or outside Russia. No one of its characters talks about other countries or areas, except Russian Federation,, as the film turns out to be that of cultural memory and association of Soviet and of Russia. I think It's a very unique film with an unique concept, but a little too long for that kind of a game.
A Gentle Creature
Drama / Mystery
A Gentle Creature
Drama / Mystery
A woman lives in a small village in Russia. One day she receives the parcel she sent to her husband, serving a sentence in prison. Confused and angered, she sets out to find why her package was returned to sender.
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September 02, 2018 at 09:48 AM