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"Elena," Russian film, SIFF

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
AMC Pacific Place 11

A gripping, modern twist on a Dostoevsky-style exploration of human nature, Elena’s conflict revolves around a coveted inheritance, cruel class differences, and the misdeeds of a tenuous marriage. Middle-aged spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his large Moscow apartment—he’s a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she’s his former nurse and recent wife. Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir despises Elena’s freeloading son and family. When Vladimir gets sick and draws up a hotly contested will, the likeable Elena is pushed beyond her limits. Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev (The Return) and featuring an evocative score by Philip Glass, Elena is a subtly stylish exploration of the will to survive. Although Zvyagintsev extends his characters a compassion that bespeaks a deep understanding of human unpredictability, ELena paints an icy portrait of moral duress.

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