A Room And A Half Review

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A kaleidoscopic recreation of the life of Russian poet-in-exile Joseph Brodsky.


In semi-fictionalising the writings of Nobel poet Joseph Brodsky, acclaimed Russian animator Andrey Khrzhanovskiy tempers the agony of the writer’s exile with the pang of nostalgia. Switching between stylised memories and reveries, he recreates an idyllic childhood in spite of poverty and repression.

But, for all the teasing allusions to Soviet history (the flying instruments sequence is sublime), this is a celebration of the cosy domesticity enjoyed by the young Brodsky (Evgeni Ogandzhanyan) and his parents (Alisa Frejndlikh and Sergei Yursky). Even the return of the prodigal (Grigori Dityatkovskiy) to a St. Petersburg he doesn’t recognise affectingly eschews sentimentality. Superbly designed and animated, this is terrific.

An tour-de-force of imagination and creativity, Brodsky's life comes alive through animation and live action.