A Friend of the Deceased (1997)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Urban Drama, Black Comedy, Satire  |   Release Date - May 1, 1998 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Ukraine  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

Since the redawning of capitalism in former Soviet nations, corruption has replaced bureaucracy as the chief means of controlling the masses, thereby making it difficult for honest people to earn a living. This is certainly true in the Ukrainian city of Kiev, the hometown of luckless Anatoli (Alexander Lazarev, Jr.). While he has a job as a translator, the pay is insufficient and he tries hard to find a new job. A rather serious but disorganized intellectual, he finds it difficult to adjust to the me-first, money-grubbing ways of the "new Ukrainians." The craziness of it all deeply depresses and confuses Anatoli. Matters are worsened when his unloving wife abandons him for another. One day he runs into an old friend who upon hearing Anatoli's sad tale, convinces Anatoli to hire an assassin to kill his wife's lover. Anatoli reluctantly hires one of Kiev's many professional killers, but gives the man a picture of himself and makes plans for his own death, plans that go awry. Then Anatoli changes his mind. He must now find the killer before the killer finds him. This darkly funny story paints a caustic sociological portrait of modern Ukrainian urban life.



translator, hitman, prostitute/prostitution, suicide-attempt, Ukrainian [nationality]