Angely V Rayu (1993)

Run Time - 122 min.  |   Countries - France, Russia  |  
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Beginning with perestroika and reaching its peak after the demise of the Soviet Union, pessimistic youth sub-culture films abounded in Russia and the former republics. Anguely V Rayou is another example of these "youth without future" films. Based on the novel Two Notebooks by Piotr Kojevnikov, the action takes place in the Leningrad of 1975, when the "stagnation" era is at its peak. Two teenagers, Micha and Galia, are experiencing a slow death in the slums of the city. Galia's aunt is going crazy in her desperation. Micha's mother is killed by a drunk. One of their friends has committed suicide. These kids are typical of a generation wasted by alcohol and misfortune. Some are bound to become outcasts, some will be destroyed, and others will be sacrificed in Afghanistan. The title is ironic, as there is neither paradise nor angels in this story. It comes from an expression the heroine keeps using: "You drink one shot and you're immediately like the angels in paradise." The film is a drama that at certain moments produces brief reliefs of laughter.