June 16, 2013

In The Fog (2012)

In The Fog (2012)
Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
Country: Russia / others

Review: Sergei Loznitsa’s sophomore film “In The Fog” presents the same approach of “My Joy”, evincing the same depressive mood, the same desolated scenarios, cold interactions among the characters, and a strong psychological component, but without being so invigorating and opting for a dragging pace that leads to a difficult watching. Set in 1942, it tells the grim story of Sheshenya, an innocent Byelorussian rail worker, who was the only one to be freed by the Germans after being captured along with other three soviet partisans accused of derail a German train. This inexplicable fact made the partisans conclude that Sheshenya was a traitor. One day, without surprise, two partisans arrived to his place and took him to a forest to punish him with death, but along the way the plans were changed. Adapted from a short novel by Vasili Bykov, “In The Fog” presents an intriguing structure, reconstructing these men’s past in order to help us understand what was behind their actions. Even overlong and emotionally cold, its cinematography and non-moralistic story of despair, stick in our head and refuse to abandon us completely, which proves the strength of the tale. But when I think in its lack of pace, weighted delays, and excess of meticulousness, I see some limitations that could be easily avoided by shortening some long static shots and perhaps reduce the same grave silence used on every scene.

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