Arguably Guerman’s most visually stunning, wildly provocative work, this fever-dream meditation on the crazed final days of Stalin's regime was a cause célèbre of the 1998 Cannes and New York film festivals. Based on a Joseph Brodsky story, the film takes off from the infamous “Doctor's Plot,” in which a group of predominately Jewish Moscow doctors were fingered as members of a conspiracy to assassinate Soviet leaders. Yuri Glinshi, Red Army general as well as famous brain surgeon, is sent to the Gulag after an anti-semitic purge, then freed in a final effort to save the “People's Little Father” from his date with destiny. Guerman creates a consistently amazing visual and aural rendition of the charged atmosphere of those sad times, in which no point of view is ever fixed, nor any shadow devoid of possible danger, nor any stray remark free from potentially lethal consequences. NOT ON DVD

  • Directed By Aleksei Guerman
  • 1998
  • USSR/France
  • 35mm
  • 150 minutes