East-West | Chicago Reader


120 minutes 2013

In 1946 the promise of amnesty and a prestigious post lures a Russian emigrant, his French wife, and their son back to the USSR, where the couple's illusions about their safety and well-being are quickly shattered. Both take lovers: she feels betrayed and wants to return to France; he feels guilty and wants to placate officials who accuse her of being a spy. Stodgy storytelling and a hyperbolic score reduce their experiences to melodrama. Director Regis Wargnier wrote the screenplay with Roustam Ibraguimbek, Sergei Bodrov, and Louis Gardel; with Sandrine Bonnaire, Oleg Menchikov, Sergei Bodrov Jr., and Catherine Deneuve. In French, Russian, and Bulgarian with subtitles.

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