29 June 2009 | nekrosoma
Sometimes Ignorance is NOT a bless
This movie already made a small history by getting banned in Russia. Of course the meaning of "banned" is not the same as it was before, there is no prosecution of the filmmakers nor burning the negatives. It's just not allowed to get screenings in theaters and will not be screened on TV as well, but people will be able to buy it in video stores.
The film is a mockumentary about Nazi underground movement in Russia, the skinheads. You know, fascist swastika, quotes from Mein Kampf, Nazi salutes, hunting and beating "others" on the streets, training camps in the forest, lots of cursing, the usual. The story is told through the video camera, filming "real" people and events, and following group of young working class punks in Moscow in their racist and violent life.
All of it was staged, but the documentary quality of the film successfully creates unpleasant sensation and involves the viewer in the watching experience. And it is very disturbing, some scenes are truly stunning in their rough and gritty feeling. Of course, you can't hold feature film without some kind of a plot, without protagonist and some kitchen sink drama. So it is there as well, but dramatic subplot is really the weakest part of the film, resulting in ridiculous and over dramatic ending, spoiling the overall impression. I guess lack of experience of the director is to blame in that case
I won't be surprised if some film critic will write a big academic article or a book, analyzing the political, cultural and cinematic sides of Russia 88. It is possible to write many pages, reviewing this film from all angles, and there are many things to discuss about this film. Recommended, but don't expect too much.