Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This intellectually demanding, experimental Russian film was shot in black and white and contains no dialogue and very little sound as it explores the complicated and never-static relationship between a filmmaker and his subject. The fictional director's name is Hero, a middle-aged fellow who specializes in documentaries. He lives with his wife in a lonely cabin deep in a forest. Together he and his wife make avant garde films. The story opens as the filmmaker watches beavers bathing in a river; naked men are also there, playfully cleaning themselves and each other. The men belong to a gay commune. Later his wife trips on a trap and dies. Her husband finds her and covers her body with a white sheet. He sheds no tears and his face betrays nothing, but in the next frame he is seen bound with metal cords, suffering as she suffered. He nearly chokes to death.