How I Ended This Summer

130 minutes 2012

This haunting Russian drama (2010) unfolds against the harsh but majestic landscape of a polar station on an Arctic island, where a newly arrived meteorologist (Grigoriy Dobrygin) comes under the boot heel of his older and more experienced colleague (Sergey Puskepalis). The lonely outpost has its particular dangers—years earlier another scientist was killed by a polar bear—but most of the low-boiling suspense here is generated by a radio transmission the younger man receives and then conceals, notifying him that the older man's wife and child have been critically injured and a boat will arrive in five days to ferry him back to the mainland. At first the novice seems to be keeping silent out of compassion, but eventually director Aleksey Popogrebskiy exposes his true motivation as fear of the other man's wrath, which turns out to be well-founded. In Russian with subtitles.

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