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Two women who survive active service in the Second World War try to reconstruct their lives in post-war Leningrad, in Kantemir Balagov’s extraordinary award-winning second feature.

Dir Kantemir Balagov
Prod Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
Scr Kantemir Balagov, Alexander Terekhov
With Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Andrey Bykov
UK Distribution MUBI
With English subtitles

Inspired by Nobel prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s The Unwomanly Face of War – interviews with ordinary women about their wartime experience – Beanpole focuses on the intense relationship between the traumatised Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko) and her friend Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina). The characters’ desire to assert their identity and the desire to have a child is portrayed with a raw psychological intensity that's reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman. The post-siege atmosphere of Leningrad is tellingly conveyed while Sergey Ivanov’s design and Ksenia Sereda’s cinematography provide a powerfully expressive context. Often deeply disturbing, Balagov’s film conveys a fiercely imaginative approach to the trauma and exhaustion of a society emerging from war.

Peter Hames

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Kantemir Balagov, director; Alexander Rodnyansky, producer.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Filmmakers’ attendance made possible thanks to Roskino - UK.

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.

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