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How I Ended This Summer [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich
  • Directors: Aleksei Popogrebsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: New Wave
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051ZHA5C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,407 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel, a recent college graduate, are spending months in complete isolation on the once strategic research base. Pavel receives an important radio message and is still trying to find the right moment to tell Sergei, when fear, lies and suspicions start poisoning the atmosphere.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sep 2011
Format: DVD
This film comes with a pretty good CV. It won the Silver Bear at last year's Berlin film festival and has received mostly positive reviews. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian thought it "a gripping and superbly acted Russian drama". The one real discordant note came from Mark Monahan of the Telegraph who against the flow thought it was "two hours of your life you'll never get back". Pretty strong words that I feel are a bit harsh. I will stand firmly alongside Bradshaw's honest assessment! This relatively modest film only uses two actors throughout, but given the extraordinary levels of their performances this is all you need for a thoroughly engrossing film.

The film is set in a remote Arctic research station in the Russian Arctic, where two scientists who happen to be, no pun intended, polar opposites, work together in islolation collecting data. The older man is a staunch product of the old Soviet system, whilst the younger is most definitely of the new era. The older man played with impressive authority by ex theatre director Sergei Puskapelis, is the dependable old school type, whilst the young man who is some sort of college placement, suffers from the irresponsibility that occasionally afflicts youth. He is played by Grigory Dobrygin, fresh out of theatre school. This young man is seen filling his spare time with less practical matters like computer games. Their situation changes dramatically when the young man fails to deliver a vitally important message to the older one. Suddenly the relationship begins to break down catastrophically. We head to an ending that surprises.

This film was made at a remote polar station in Chukotka district in Russia's very far north easterly extremity, nine hours time difference from Moscow. It was an inspired choice of location.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
... and not metaphors. Alexei Popogrebsky, in his 40 minutes onstage interview, heavily insists on this fundamental credo of pure epics.
So, the film, set on a remote weather station in the Arctic, tells its harsh story as a slowly unfolding sequence of mere events. Breathtaking photography, from the end of the world ( visually, only "Il deserto rosso", long ago, had a similar effect on me ).
The story, a theatrically blown-up father-son conflict between old hand Sergei ( Grigory Dubrygin ! ) and easily panicking novice Pavel, has to borrow its credibility from the savage eccentricity of its pre-cultural setting.
At any rate, Popogrebsky brilliantly succeeds : what really counts is not the story, but the way you tell it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Dec 2011
Format: DVD
Aleksey Popogrebskiy's 2010 tale of two Russian meteorologists stationed on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean has a great deal of initial promise, and whilst it delivers a rather slow, but always interesting and certainly well-acted, drama it does not quite live up to expectations. Both Sergei Puskepalis as the senior scientist and, particularly, Grigoriy Dobrygin as the underling Pavel deliver solid acting performances, conveying very effectively their mutual sense of isolation and boredom.

The plot, such as it is, centres on Pavel's failure to pass on to Sergei an important message concerning the safety of Sergei's family, and the gradual build-up of tension and distrust between the two characters as Pavel continues to delay making the communication. There follows a series of pursuit sequences as Pavel realises Sergei's likely reaction once the message is received. The film's cinematography, focusing on the remote station in the middle of the arctic wilderness, is superb and serves to reinforce the sense of despair of the main characters.

Despite rather overstaying its welcome at over two hours duration, the film should be recognised as a worthy (and rather original) attempt to cover what is essentially an uncinematic set of events. I was, however, surprised to see that the film won the Best Film award at the 2010 London Film Festival, since (even out of the small selection of films that I saw) I would have rated other films more highly, for example Daniele Luchetti's La Nostra Vita and Peter Mullan's NEDS.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald M. Macdonald on 11 May 2012
Format: DVD
A Russian film with English subtitles might not seem like the most attractive viewing prospect, but putting any concerns aside, this is a compelling drama about two men working in an isolated Arctic Region who find a growing tension between them becomes almost unliveable.
Winner of two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival for its actors and its stunning photography and of the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival in 2010, the film's setting is a remote Arctic island weather station manned by the experienced and dedicated meteorologist Sergei and the less experienced Pavel, who arrives at the weather station with youthful diversions to while away his free time in the unforgiving Winter months he will spend there.
When Pavel receives an important radio message, his awe and tense fear of the older man halts him from telling Sergei the shocking news that he has heard. He tries to find the right moment, but this deception leads to bitterness and suspicion affecting relations between the pair to the degree that Pavel fears that he might be killed by his companion as the news he should have passed on becomes apparent. Dangers are already all around from the harsh conditions they work in to the polar bears that roam the island, so Pavel feels closed in and scared for his well-being and the story becomes a survival drama as more is revealed.
The acting from the two leads is powerful and convincing. The location photography adds to the sense of belief that this is almost another world. This is a story that unravels at the pace that feels right and ends up as being a stunning drama for being so different to other films about being isolated in a remote area.
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