Being the line given to Beria, Stalin's soon to be doomed henchman, near the end of this crazy carnival of a movie. Gherman's first film since his 1982 masterpiece, My Friend Ivan Lapshin, similarly takes the form of a b/w reconstruction of times past - here the worlds surrounding drunken brain specialist General Glinsky, who's in charge of a Moscow hospital and master of a large domestic arena. Both circuses reflect the anarchic, anti-Semitic last days of Stalin's paranoid rule. Gherman's style refracts the everyday horror in a series of Fellini-esque, people-filled scenes, traced out with an extremely mobile camera, that is as likely to peek into a moving taxi window as glide around the demented faces of a brutal anal rape scene. The effect is relentless and overpowering, yet the film is often poetic in its blend of pathos, freneticism, surrealism and matter of factness.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Alexei Gherman, Svetlana Karmalita, Pekka Lehto|