Once in Trubchevsk
Odnazhdy v Trubchevske
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
As this tale of marital disgrace begins, a truck driver kisses his wife goodbye and drives off, while across town a husband waves goodbye to his wife as she boards a bus going the other way. Before long, she disembarks and waits for the truck and a clandestine liaison, a long-standing routine that eventually arouses the suspicions of both their spouses. Before long, the affair unravels their households and poisons the trust between them all, but the inertia of history - both personal and cultural - makes the fallout anything but a clean break from the past.
Writer-director Larisa Sadilova (With Love, Lilya, VIFF 03) approaches her characters’ flaws with both sympathetic complexity and gentle mockery, but Once in Trubchevsk’s pleasures are not just in its wry view of human foibles. A plaintive portrait of old and faded communities emerges among the interpersonal drama, suggesting the patterns of abject behaviour on display may be rooted in something much deeper than impulsive lust.
"A modest but precisely calibrated drama with a plangent feel for small-town life." - Allan Hunter, Screen