The Outskirts (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama, Rural Drama  |   Release Date - Apr 2, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Russia  |  
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Pyotr Lutsik's first film Okraina is an allegorical piece that contemplates capitalism run wild, as well as the increasing Westernization of contemporary Russian filmmaking. The title is taken from the classic 1933 film by the Soviet filmmaker Boris Barnet, in which the beginning of the farm collectivization era is depicted. In Pyotr Lutsik's version, the hero is an ordinary farmer, Philip Safronov, whose peaceful life is aggressively interrupted when his land is appropriated by a mysterious group to exploit its oil resources. The toughest farmers unite and track down the offenders one by one. The murderous path they leave behind them culminates in the film's apocalyptic finale. The director's style is minimalist, with heavy use of symbols. The humor is very bitter. The use of black and white and orchestral music from 1930's Soviet films gives a nostalgic aura without obstructing the impact of the main theme of the film, which seems to be "regimes come and go, but exploitation of the poor remains." Okraina was screened as part of the International Forum of New Cinema section of the 49th Berlin Film Festival, 1999.

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Keywords

capitalism, farmer, oil