Movie Review – Persian Lessons

Persian Lessons Russia/Belarus (2020) Dir. Vadim Perelman During the war - don’t worry this isn’t an Albert Trotter story - it is understandable how people would resort to duplicity to avoid being captured or killed. This was very true for the Jews who were relentlessly persecuted, causing many to hide their identities in the name … Continue reading Movie Review – Persian Lessons

Movie Review – Russian Raid (Russkiy Reyd)

Russian Raid (Russkiy Reyd) Russia (2020) Dir. Denis Kryuchkov Back in 2011 when Gareth Evans unleashed The Raid on the world, I imagine if he was aware of how many imitators would appear in its wake, which naturally it did. However, at least those films had the decency to come up with a title to … Continue reading Movie Review – Russian Raid (Russkiy Reyd)

Blu-Ray Review – Viy

Viy (Cert 15) 1 Disc/2 Disc Ltd Edition Blu-ray (Distributor: Eureka Entertainment) Running Time: 77 minutes approx. It’s funny that people who believe in God always think He will save them from evil, yet they also recognise that He will punish them for their sins. One way to do that is to have them suffer … Continue reading Blu-Ray Review – Viy

The Iron Mask (Tayna pechati drakona)

The Iron Mask (Tayna pechati drakona) Russia/China (2019) Dir. Oleg Stepchenko Marketing in cinema is everything. Get that wrong and you can kiss goodbye to all the hard work of the filmmaker turning a profit, no matter how good the film might or might not be. This Chinese-Russian co-production exemplifies the problem of the metaphoric … Continue reading The Iron Mask (Tayna pechati drakona)

Beanpole (Dylda)

Beanpole (Dylda) Russia (2019) Dir. Kantemir Balagov War causes many losses both on and off the battlefield, but the sacrifices don’t end once the military conflict ceases. Reintegrating into a society rebuilding itself presents another set of struggles for those dealing with the aftermath of their experiences. In a Leningrad hospital in 1945, shortly after … Continue reading Beanpole (Dylda)


Sputnik (Cert 15) VOD (Distributor: Vertigo Releasing) Running Time: 114 minutes approx. Most people, when they return from a trip bring back a toy, pottery, glassware, or local confectionary as a souvenir, not a dangerous flesh-eating alien. But I guess cosmonauts are more likely to visit places that aren’t exactly “regular destinations”… In 1983, a … Continue reading Sputnik


Leto Russia (2018) Dir. Kirill Serebrennikov It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, unless you are living in Communist Russia in the 1980s in which case, it is a very long way to the top but only if the Party approves of your lyrics first. After all, it’s … Continue reading Leto

Break (Otryv)

Break (Otryv) Russia (2019) Dir. Tigran Sahakyan It seems our friends over in Putin-land are trying their best to keep up with western genre cinema recently, branching out from the usual socio-political dramas and dipping their toes in other areas. We’ve had action thrillers, war epics, even superhero films, now we have a Soviet disaster … Continue reading Break (Otryv)

Blu-Ray Review – Why Don’t You Just Die

Why Don’t You Just Die (Cert 15) 1 Disc Blu-ray (Distributor: Arrow Video) Running Time: 99 minutes approx. If you can’t rely on your family in life, whom can you rely on? Under most circumstances they should be the first people you turn to for help, advice, guidance or a shoulder to cry on, so … Continue reading Blu-Ray Review – Why Don’t You Just Die

The Thief (Vor)

The Thief (Vor) Russia (1997) Dir. Pavel Chukhray Is love so blind that people really can’t see the sort of person somebody is even if it is apparent to everybody else? Looks and confidence - and in this instance a smart army uniform - can’t be everything in winning over a heart but then again, … Continue reading The Thief (Vor)