One of the most talked about break-out art films this year, 28-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov won Canne’s Un Certain Regard’s Best Director prize for this richly burnished, sometimes harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war. “Ferocious and extraordinary. You often have to remind yourself to breathe,” says Jessica Kiang of Variety, while Manohla Dargis (New York Times) calls it, “Dazzling….a brilliantly told, deeply moving story about love.” In post-WWII Leningrad, two women, Iya and Masha (astonishing newcomers Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina), intensely bonded after fighting side by side as anti-aircraft gunners, attempt to readjust to a haunted world. As the film begins, Iya, long and slender and towering over everyone—hence the film’s title—works as a nurse in a shell-shocked hospital, presiding over traumatized soldiers.
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“Ferocious and extraordinary. You often have to remind yourself to breathe.”
"Achingly beautiful. Extraordinary performances and Roma-level production design elevate a brutal yet tender story of two women in post-war Leningrad. Recalls Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days ."