I was fortunate to see this on its initial cinematic release and to watch it again a few years later. Interesting to see that the National Theatre are now staging a version.
Little to add to the good review above about the film beginning as a family comedy and then becoming far darker in tone and complicated (the relationships between the adult characters).
It's only as I write this review that I realise the final scene with the unfortunate truck driver who recognises Kotov parallels and echoes what happens during the film. For every Bukharin and show trial, there were countless others who suffered due to the arbitrariness of fate to become victims of a totalitarian system. I haven't read Simon Sebag-Montefiore's book 'Court of the Red Tsar', but I remember reading reviews where Sebag-Montefiore described Stalin affectionately cuddling a child whose parents he had sent/was about to send to their deaths. That is Nadia's (Kotov's daughter) tragedy, in this film.
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