Working on a polar station in a desolate part of the Arctic, graduate Pavel (Dobrygin) and veteran meteorologist Sergei (Puskepalis) find that tensions quickly spill over into something altogether graver.
Manning a meteorological station on a remote island inside the Arctic Circle, Sergei Puskepalis and Grigori Dobrygin rub along until the latter is ordered to break bad news from home when his partner returns from a fishing trip. Human fragility is unflinchingly exposed in this study of isolation and clashing personalities. The leads shared the Best Actor prize at 2010’s Berlin Film Festival for their performances as the wizened technician and college graduate, and make the most of the psychological shift that brings added tension to their intense silences. But it’s Aleksei Popogrebsky’s controlled pacing within Pavel Kostomarov’s striking imagery that makes this dark gem so disconcertingly compelling.
With strong turns from its leads, this Russian drama will bury its way into your subconcious. Intense.