13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2013
I don't normally write Amazon reviews, but I'm amazed, and delighted, that this film has received the kind of critical acclaim it has. Most reviewers, as far as I can check, have treated it with all the solemnity of a meditative revelation from the remote reaches of pagan Russia, a poignant encounter with death, love, water and the basics of human existence.
Baloney. The film makers must be laughing themselves sick. Just listen to the words of the alleged poetry and songs of this semi-extinct culture; or think about the scene where they buy 120 axe handles, 100 shovel handles, etc., to build a funeral pyre; count the amount of vodka consumed in getting the pyre to burn; at least notice that the novel upon which the film claims to be based doesn't exist, though (according to the final words of the film) it was posthumously typed on the shiny scales of the fish of the Volga - on the typewriter once sacrificed to the great river by the poet-father.
It's not only the protagonists who have had their eyes metaphorically pecked out by allegorical songbirds. Put your tongue firmly in your cheek and watch it again. It's a superb piece of cod ethnology, beautifully pitched to entice sophisticated viewers into acclaiming a spoof as a masterpiece - which, in its own terms, it is! A hoot.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2014
I had the pleasure of seeing this film with my daughter in London. She was 20.
This is not a film to watch with your daughter... the washing of her body in Vodka was not an easy scene to sit through together....
The photography and the pace are brilliant; opening us up to new cultural traditions of how to deal with grief and mourning... the cover of the DVD says much after you have watched the film.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2013
Set in the world of the arctic russian people this film has little action but shows a society which is alien to the west, the reaction of the policeman to a dead body in the car sums the whole thing up.