2015, Laila Pakalniņa, Latvia/Estonia, 96 min. With Vilis Daudziņš, Antons Grauds.
- Fri, Mar 17th 8:00pm
- Tue, Mar 21st 8:00pm
“Hilariously grotesque.” — Matt Voigts, The MacGuffin
The sly but gargantuan sense of humor of director Pakalniņa (PIZZAS) flourishes in this dark spoof on life in a Soviet-era village collective farm, where the cretinous citizenry live, love and distinctly fail to thrive in near-Medieval squalor. In a story that is on par with the grotesque, satirical worldview of films including Radu Jude’s AFERIM! and Aleksey German’s HARD TO BE A GOD, it’s parent against child, neighbor against neighbor, and even neighbor against chicken as the populace competes in a self-defeating race to the bottom that includes tongue-in-cheek set pieces treating the clichés of life under the old regime, from the rows of scythe-wielding babushka-ladies to the buffoonery of the village drunkards and the obligatory desecration of the church, all perversely rendered in elegant black-and-white imagery and beautifully swooping camerawork. In Latvian with English subtitles. Courtesy of the National Film Center of Latvia. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)