Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USSR, 1991. Gorky Film Studios, Goskino, Mir. Screenplay by Vladimir Kholodov, Yuri Polyakov. Cinematography by Vladislav Menshikov. Produced by Aleksandr Zosimenko. Production Design by Sergei Filenko, Sergey Serebrenikov. Costume Design by Nina Chernyshova. Film Editing by Galina Dmitriyeva, Vladimir Portnov.
Strange, unintelligible film that presents scenes from army life in the USSR without any particular connection between them. Soldiers drill, shower and receive discipline in a meditation on the vast chasm that is created between individual humanity and brutal uniformity in the military. Shot with mostly real soldiers who have never acted before, the film is beautifully atmospheric and rich with homoerotic imagery (I’d like to see more countries have armies where men soap each other up in the showers like that) but is too cold and unformed to be memorable or moving.