Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Harutyun Khachatryan uses the story of an animal that's lost its way as a metaphor for the strife and mistrust in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union in this fusion of documentary and drama. In the wake of the Armenian-Azeri conflict of the 1990's, a number of refugees find themselves working together on a farm near the Armenian border; they often find themselves suspicious of those who claim to be able help them, as well as one another. One day, one of the farmers finds a buffalo in a nearby ditch; the animal looks tired and ill-fed, and he brings it back to the farm in hopes of nursing it back to health. But the other farm animals don't know what to make of the buffalo, while the dogs are openly hostile to the new arrival and many of the farmhands, wary after years of having their nerves shattered by war, reject the presence of the creature. Border received its world premiere at the 2009 Rotterdam International Film Festival.