How I Ended This Summer (12A)

Written and directed by Alexei Popogrebski
Screening at FACT Liverpool from 29th April 2011

Reviewed by Michelle McKay

Opinion seems to be split on this movie: some see it as a soporific study of ennui, while others consider it a Russian masterpiece of inner torment in a bleak landscape; I am amongst the latter. The scene is set as both characters do mundane chores in an arctic substation where they have to monitor a nuclear reactor, take meteorological readings, and relay them over the airwaves every hour.

The remote location combined with the severe weather conditions, basic living quarters, and continual sleep deprivation conspire to create an intense atmosphere which brings out the differences between the two protagonists who only have each other for company: Sergei (played by Sergei Puskepalis), the old hand who knows the job and the terrain inside out and takes it all very seriously, and 'Pasha' who like anyone his age plays loud music and video games to relieve the boredom.

The fact that there are only the two of them becomes even more relevant when they fall out, and the story takes a dramatic turn. Suffice to say, both actors did their own stunts. Grigoriy Dobrygin (Pasha) originally trained as a ballet dancer and it shows: a star is born!

I highly recommend this movie: it is in Russian with subtitles, but the story is so gripping you don't even notice.

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Aleeyne on 11th June, 2011 at 11:51
I will definitely go to see this movie after reading your review.