Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Leviathan) takes a caustic look at contemporary Russian values as a couple going through a divorce deal with their son’s disappearance.


Dir Andrey Zvyagintsev
Prod Alexandre Rodnyansky, Serguey Melkumov
Scr Oleg Negin, Andrey Zvyagintsev
With Maryana Spivak, Alexey Rozin, Matvey Novikov
UK Distribution Altitude Film Distribution

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s follow-up to his LFF2014 Best Film winner Leviathan, about a couple whose son disappears as they’re just about to divorce, paints a quietly horrific picture of life in contemporary Russia. Still reluctantly sharing their apartment, Boris and Zhenya can’t wait to end their marriage and begin anew with their respective lovers; such is their mutual dislike, they’re oblivious to the terrible effect their constant arguments are having on their shy, lonely 12-year-old son Alyosha. Then one day they discover that the boy’s no longer to be found, and they’re expected to work together in dealing both with the police and with a group of volunteers who search for missing children. Faced with bureaucratic lassitude and focused on their own romantic, erotic, professional and hedonistic aspirations, the parents – clearly representative of certain aspects of Russian society – are ill-equipped to deal with this time-consuming catastrophe; desperate for love themselves, they seemingly have none to spare. Working with his regular writing partner Oleg Negin, Zvyagintsev expertly balances taut suspense, vivid characterisation and state-of-the-nation commentary, while his sensitivity to subtly expressive sound and eloquent, resonant images remains undiminished. Another gem from a boldly imaginative filmmaker.

Geoff Andrew

Festival guests

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

  • Andrey Zvyagintsev, Director

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