‘Biting social criticism’
‘Ruthless analysis of the Russian soul.’
Virtuoso drama and road movie, inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name: sharp, absurd, tragic and comical. A woman lives alone on the edge of a Russian village. Her husband is in jail. One day a package she has sent to him is returned undelivered. She decides to travel to the remote Siberian prison complex to find out what is going on. She finds herself passed from pillar to post, caught in a bureaucratic web encountering the one abuser of power and exploiter after the next, each more absurd and sinister than the last. Eventually she finds herself in a Kafkaesque nightmare in which present-day Russia itself seems like a prison.
With the intimidating exterior of a barracks from the tsarist period, the prison is similar to the castle described by Kafka: a hermetically sealed institute that invisibly controls the surrounding town. The prison staff are corrupt and the apparently helpful townspeople turn out to be even more untrustworthy. Still, this ‘gentle creature’ does her utmost to get to speak to her husband…
‘A Gentle Creature’ was nominated for the Golden Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.