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Panorama | Vancity Theatre Screening

An unforgettable take on war’s human costs, Russian wunderkind Kantemir Balagov’s visually poetic and beautifully photographed drama is set in a Leningrad of near-intolerable privation in the aftermath of Russia’s WWII "victory." Lanky nurse Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko), nicknamed "Beanpole" for her tall, thin body, works in a hospital and suffers PTSD-related seizures that leave her unconscious. When fiery Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina), the woman soldier Iya worships, returns from the frontlines, their intense relationship - tinged by a tragedy that occurs during one of Iya’s episodes and subject to the many horrors both of them have lived through – takes centre stage. As the desperate citizenry scrambles to survive, can the women return to a life even resembling normalcy?

Balagov elicits amazing performances from Miroshnichenko and Perelygina, both newcomers to the screen, and elevates Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexeievich’s stories of Russian women’s experiences during WWII - his inspiration for the film - to understandably harsh and yet ethereally beautiful heights. Beanpole is a remarkable work for anyone to have made, let alone for someone only 28 years old.

"Exceptionally crafted, devastating… ferocious, and extraordinary… marks the undeniable arrival of Kantemir Balagov as a major talent…" Jessica Kiang, Variety

"A devastating, brilliantly directed and acted drama." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"Brilliant. Balagov is a fiercely individual and quite staggeringly accomplished talent." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Director Kantemir Balagov
Country of Origin: Russia
Year: 2019
Running Time: 137 mins
Format: DCP
Classification: 19+
Language:In Russian
Related Links: Trailer
Cast: Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Andrey Bykov, Igor Shirokov, Konstantin Balakirev, Ksenia Kutepova, Olga Dragunova, Timofey Glazkov


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