Compartment No. 6
Hytti nro 6
Juho Kuosmanen’s grungy train journey to Siberia, in a Finnish student’s shared sleeper carriage with a volatile Russian labourer, is a quixotic charmer.
Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka
Livia Ulman, Andris Feldmanis, Juho Kuosmanen
Seidi Haarla, Yuriy Borisov
Finland-Germany-Russia-Estonia 2021. 107min
With English subtitles
Few people would head to icy Murmansk in winter, but Finnish trainee archaeologist Laura (Seidi Haarla) is determined to see the town’s rare petroglyphs, and perhaps escape a failing teacher-student romance. Cooped up in a dingy second-class compartment with hard-drinking Russian skinhead Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov), Laura finds little relief or escape. A Before Sunrise meet-cute this isn’t, though sometimes connections and destinations take on new meanings. This Cannes Grand Prix winner is something of a departure from Kuosmanen’s previous film, the gentle, monochrome The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. But beneath the expertly rendered icy, post-Soviet ambience, there’s unexpected warmth and intimacy – an unsentimental generosity that makes the excellent Haarla and Borisov odd yet ideal travel companions.
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