Leningrad in autumn of 1945. World War II has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Although the siege – one of the worst in history – is finally over, life and death continue their battle in the wreckage that remains. Two young women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins.
It was important for the director to show the consequences of war through people’s faces, eyes, physiques, bodies, not just through abandoned or destroyed buildings. His main inspiration for this film was the book The Unwomanly Face of War by the Nobel prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich. The producer believes that Balagov’s true strength comes from his realization of the drama and cruelty of life and his deep affection and empathy towards the people who are trying to overcome terrible obstacles.
Curator's point of view: It is already the second film of one of the most promising new-generation Russian film directors where he addresses a subject the society would rather avoid discussing. This time it is women that have experienced war while serving in the army.