Russian emigrants Alexei (Oleg Menchikov--Barber of Siberia, The Kiss) and Marie Golovine (Sandrine Bonnaire--Circle of Passion, Les Innocents) receive a disappointing welcome when they step off the boat in Odessa with their young son, Serioja (played by Ruben Tapiero and Erwan Baynaud). But, because of Alexei's medical skills, the family is spared execution and shipped off to Kiev to share meager quarters with a household of alcoholic miscreants--including a strapping young swimmer named Sacha (Serguei Bodrov Jr.) Wracked with guilt over the miscalculation that has landed his family in captivity, Alexei struggles to protect his foreign-born wife while avoiding the scrutiny of a fear-ridden polity. Hope stirs when French actress Gabrielle Develay (Catherine Deneuve--Indochine, The Hunger, The Last Metro, Belle De Jour) comes to perform in the local theater.
Continue reading: East/west Review
1) No Brad Pitt. Valli worked on the Brad Pitt film Seven Years in Tibet, which showcased Pitt and his pathetic German accent trekking the Himalayas and befriending the Dalai Lama. Instead of the overpaid, perfect-toothed Pitt, we get real people from Nepal portraying themselves, in roles that demand good acting and a credible screen presence.
Continue reading: Himalaya Review