East/West (1999)

PG-13   |    |  Adventure, Drama, History


East/West (1999) Poster

June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or ... See full summary »


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Director:

Régis Wargnier

Writers:

Rustam Ibragimbekov, Sergei Bodrov, Louis Gardel, Régis Wargnier

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11 April 2001 | gbheron
8
| A Love Story and a Castigation of Stalinism
In 1946, Stalin invites Russian émigrés to return, in patriotic fervor, to help rebuild from WWII. Unbeknownst to them, all returnees are considered imperialists and spies, and are to be treated accordingly. "East-West" explores this nightmare scenario through the eyes of a family who returned; a Russian doctor, his French wife and their young son. Because of his doctoring skills he is spared the Gulag or execution, but his life in Kiev is certainly not what his wife is used to. The collision of cultures, the hardships, and the Stalinist tyranny all take a deep toll as they struggle to survive and escape.

Dark, and claustrophobic, this is a gripping tale from beginning to end. And it is in the end a great love story, of devotion and sacrifice. At the showing I attended the tears flowed freely in the audience. I recommend it highly.

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