The beautiful Tanya returns to her small mining town, after supposedly working as a model in Moscow. She decides to marry her shy school sweetheart Mishka, who now works in the mine. The ... See full summary »
I am grateful to the commentators who suggested comparisons to Robert Altman's "Wedding" and the Indian "Monsoon Wedding"-- the comparison that came to mind for me was "Sweet Home Alabama." But I definitely find it the greatest depiction of contemporary Russian culture, especially as it shows provincial, rather than big-city life. I titled my comments "Laughter through Tears," as that is a phrase associated with one of Russia's greatest writers, Nikolai Gogol, who inaugurated the absurd and grotesque in Russian literature. I know Pavel Lunguin as the director of "Taxi Blues," and find his development as a filmmaker in the 10 years between the two films very compelling. Longuin, to my mind, is one of the few filmmakers who has found his own authentic Russian voice in contemporary cinema.