The film debut of a young Director, awarded the prize at the Cannes film festival. Immediately it should be noted that the film does not correspond to the description. A teenage girl is not that a teenager (or rather, not a teenager), a rant about “saving the family” also did not correspond to the message of the film.
The film is about how closely live in a world of religions and national traditions. The main character lives at the junction of several cultures: the culture of Kabardino-Balkaria, Jewish culture… and culture in the late 90-ies. It’s scary all intertwined in a terrible tangle that starts tighter and tighter to tighten the rope around his neck Ilana. She wants to get out of this trap, but escaping from one of her suffocating culture, she inevitably falls into another. Her Jewish family tries to integrate into the environment of Kabardino-Balkaria, but they still clearly give to understand that they are guests. Escaping from the family, the girl falls in the collapsed somewhere on the bottom of the world 90 years. Her closely in this world of closed, stupid, wrong traditions. Closely in religion, closely in the tradition closely in the war.
The film Kantemir of Balakov, himself Kabardino-Balkar, said that Russia can not be national conflicts is a multinational country, and so, obviously conflicted. In his film there is no clear conclusion that pacifism is good, war is bad. No, he’s non-judgmental shows the whole horror in the Caucasus. The climax of the film a long and terrible stream of documentary footage of the killings during Chechen war.
The entire movie you expect now will happen something terrible, horrible, you are shrinking inside himself in this terrible waiting. But the nightmare is not happening. And only later, on reflection, you realize that the whole movie is a nightmare about how horrible, wrong, scary rules people live. And it is still live the Caucasus is a very closed environment, refusing to accept the new modern rules. “The children grew up among us” say the parents of the main character.
Special mention is the light and color. Each character of this film has its own color, and these colors are intertwined, come into confrontation. The colors in “Distress” are more alive than people. People dead inside from what is traded on the freedom of tradition.
To watch or not? Watch out because Balakov shows the beauty of his own people, and his terrible traits.