My Stepbrother Frankenstein (Contemporary World Cinema)
2004 - Russia - 111
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DIRECTOR: Valery Todorovsky
CAST: Leonid Yarmolnik, Elena Yakovleva, Daniil Spivakovsky
At the middle class Moscow home of physicist and sometime science writer Krymov, a knock on the door introduces returning war veteran Pavel. This newcomer arrives with the shocking news that he’s Krymov’s long-forgotten 20-year-old son--the offspringof a short-lived dalliance. In desperate need of a place to stay and medical attention, Pavel entreats Krymov and his perturbed family to help. Newcomer Daniil Spivakovsky leads an excellent ensemble as the endearing but scary battle-scarred vet , whosefixations convince him there are enemies hiding in the attic (referred to in the subtitles as “gooks,” the derogatory Russian word for “Chechens”). His complex character does not escape a climactic dinner-table charge of being a “fascist.” After a series of troubling events, his presence finally culminates in a fateful decision for the family. -AMWell-established 43-year-old director Valery Todorovsky, who began post-perostroika years with an experimental flair (The Lovers, Land of the Deaf ) , sounds the right tone to combat Russian audiences’ complacency while making an extended metaphoric comment about the physical and emotional devastation suffered by soldiers of the war in Chechnya.
PRODUCER: Leonid Yarmolnik
SCREENWRITER: Gennadi Ostrovsky
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sergei Mikhalchuk
EDITOR: Alla Strelnikova
MUSIC: Alexei Aigi
PRINT SOURCE: Intercinema-Art Agency