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Monday, January 16, 2012

How I Ended This Summer - Isolated in Arctic Russian Film

How I ended this summer is a Russian film set on an isolated Island near the Arctic Ocean.  I watched the film in English subtitles.

Every since reading my first Jack London story I have always been fascinated with people who live on the edge, who survive  in desolate places.  I loved the film "The Fast Runner"  which is a fable set among the ancient Inuit people living, thriving, in one of the coldest regions of Earth.   "How I Ended This Summer" is set in the modern day.   Pavel (Grigoriy Dobrygin) and Sergei (Sergey Puskepalis) take  radiation readings at a desolate arctic outpost.

They are completely isolated and rely on each other for day to day work and chores.  You get the impression quickly that Sergi is the experienced 40-50 something, old-school worker who finds Pavel, a college intern, to be a bit of a nuance. The tension between them is very natural and not over done.  The film builds suspense quietly. No sound track, no explosions, just an existence between two very different people. One a little crazy, one a little naive.

I loved the scenery.  The austere and unforgiving land not only looks great but it really forces the audience to focus on these two characters who are, quite literally, trapped in their careers and with each other.

How I Ended This Summer does not talk down to its audience. The film does not take the time to explain anything. It just unfolds and lets you figure out most of the film on your own. 

 There is some mystery to the film, which lends it some intrigue.   Why are they working on this site? Who are they working for?

Sergey Puskepalis and Grigoriy Dobrygin are well cast and very believable.   They are tired and brooding They are wonderfully ambivalent at times toward each other. They act along side each other very well.

Check this movie out.


130 Mins


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