February 10, 2014

A Long and Happy Life (2013)

A Long and Happy Life (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Boris Khlebnikov
Country: Russia

Movie Review: Nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear, “A long and happy life”, is the sixth feature film directed by Russian helmer Boris Khlebnikov. The film depicts in gloomy tones, the sad story of Sasha, a farmer who is invited by the local government administrators to close his business, located at the Kola Peninsula, in exchange of a monetary compensation. Trying to fight for a land he put so many efforts in, Sasha realizes he is completely tied by the corrupt authorities and constantly struggles with the idea of having to open the door of poverty to his employees, most of them not so young. The situation gets more complicated when his girlfriend, Anya, who works for the government, doesn’t stay on his side when he decides to stand firm for his farm and workers. The film, with its contemporary story and paradoxical title, wasn’t so new in terms of plot, dragging itself in its heaviness for long periods of time. Don’t get me wrong with my previous statement, because good films not always have an original story. The problem here was simply technical. The direction was uninspired, presenting an excessively moving camera that was not always favorable, and shadowy images sometimes intercalated by two or three beautiful countryside landscapes. The uneven pace had a shake in its violent, yet somewhat predictable final moments, but this wasn’t enough to turn “A long and happy life” into a decisive and memorable film.

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