Lyubov i Drugie Koshmary (2001)

Countries - Russia  |  
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

A movie director discovers truth is stranger than fiction -- and makes for an even better story -- in this offbeat drama. Alex (voice of Andrei Nekrasov) is a filmmaker who left his native Russia some years ago, but who has returned to begin work on a new project. One day in St. Petersburg, Alex is nearly killed by a mustachioed young hoodlum with a pistol, and as he follows the gunman, he makes a startling discovery -- the man with the mustache isn't a man at all. Lubov (Olga Konskaia) found herself in jail on a minor charge years ago, and while behind bars she learned the rudiments of the hired killer's trade; now earning a living as a hit woman, she disguises herself as a man for the purposes of work, but also enjoys playing the role of a man in her personal life. Alex persuades Lubov to appear in a semi-documentary film based on her life and career, and soon his camera is capturing an eyeful of Lubov's dangerous professional life and freewheeling sexual escapades. The two sides begin to blur when Lubov is hired to kill Aglaya (Ekaterina Urvantseva), the wife of a powerful political figure; for the purposes of their film, Alex convinces Lubov to seduce her instead. Lubov I Drugie Koshmary was the first feature from writer and director Andrei Nekrasov, who previously distinguished himself as an actor.