Open Scent



    • Xanthe on July 5, 2010 at 19:30

    a Russian film called 12, starring and directed by the great Russian director Nikita Mikalkov.  I left the film feeling at all ends and pieces.  And humbled by my ignorance of other places.  

    It is a Russian homage to 12 Angry Men – and when I say Russian, I mean Russian.  Each of the 12 men have a story to tell and they do.  All of the drama of class, minority status, end of empire, etc.  A Chechan boy is accused of killing of his uncle, who was a Russian officer.  There are intermitant shots of the war in Chechnia – graphic scenes.  And the stories these men tell are wrenching – the acting superb – the  background of these diverse men is told straight and true.  

    See it.  I exhort you.

    I’ve been thinking of visiting Russia, especially St. Petersburg – and here this film turns up.  It takes place in Moscow but many minorities are represented.  I’ve learned quite a bit in this movie about class and minority mistrust in Russia.  As well, the old ties of the Communist party are featured in a sympathetic but real way.  It is hard for some of these men to give it up.  As well, the new class of capitalists are represented.  They actually come off worst than the old commies – due to the writer’s sympathies no doubt.  

    Caveat:  there is stereotypical female stuff but it is so good it rises above any of that, and perhaps that is rampant in Russia so it is necessary.  

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