Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Cast: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov. 140 min. Rated R. Russia. Drama.
A local in rural Russia finds himself in a legal battle with the mayor over his house ... but that's just the beginning of his problems, as he watches his entire livelihood fall apart. He's up against an insurmountable leviathan-like force. Critics have interpreted this as an allegory for Putin's corrupt Russia, but with the emphasis on religion and church-going politicians, I found the film posing the question: at which point of a disaster does a non-believer seek help from God? The long-winding duration of the story in the outskirts reminded me of Nuri Bilge Ceylan's, whose films are far superior.