Who Else If Not Us | Chicago Reader

Who Else If Not Us

This Russian feature directed by Valery Priemykhov is a good example of a mediocre foreign film that's worth seeing because of what it shows us about the country it's set in. Two Russian youths from the sticks loot a department store in Moscow and head back home on a raft; one of them gets caught and sent to prison for a year. The performances are variable, the lip sync is lousy, the story less than enthralling. I also didn't warm to the disco version of Albinoni heard on the sound track or the hokey use of slow motion. But the opening sequence, set in a huge and opulent shopping mall where the boys encounter a drag queen, made my jaw drop, giving me an image of Moscow that contradicted most of what I imagined about the place, and other details of contemporary Russian life kept me interested most of the way through.

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