In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
On the outskirts of a small coastal town in the Barents Sea, where whales sometimes come to its bay, lives an ordinary family: Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), his wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and their teenage son Romka. The family is haunted by a local corrupted mayor (Roman Madyanov), who is trying to take away the land, a house and a small auto repair shop from Kolya. To save their homes Kolya calls his old Army friend in Moscow (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who has now become an authoritative attorney. Together they decide to fight back and collect dirt on the mayor.Written by
There's certainly a feeling of dread, of malice, that really takes over the film even in its early stages. It's rather impressive. The opening and closing shots are of very much resemblance and they do sort of open and close this one tale. It's very much in line with a dark thriller (and in many ways this is that). It's rather impressive, rather stoic. The cinematography is rather beautiful, and it sets off the tone rather well. There are some truly impressive shots in this piece of work, it even reminded me of The White Ribbon. I'm not sure I loved everything about how the script develops, but the film as a whole is certainly very good and perhaps will remain as the best from the Foreign Language nominees. Certainly recommended, but not always an easy viewing.
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