Second Circle (1990)
|In the 1990 film The Second Circle, Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov (Russian Ark, Mother and Son) solidified his reputation as "a master of controlling mood" (New York Newsday). Expertly pitched between absurdity and elegy, allegory and social critique, The Second Circle is an "uncompromising, imagistic, masterly work" (The New York Times).|
In a remote Siberian village, an anonymous young man emerges from a blizzard to claim his late father's body. Navigating the detritus of an old man's final friendless decade and the dehumanizing maze of red tape that are his father's sole legacy, the boy inadvertently picks through the debris of unraveled family ties and confronts the yawning gap between alienated Soviet generations. Scorned and ignored, his labor of mourning becomes as transformative as the labor of birth. "I'll burn everything, but not my father," the young man warns a funeral director. As he finds himself in his father's lifeless eyes, the reluctant young pilgrim discovers that they have more in common in death than they did in life.
"[Sokurov is] a master of controlling mood... New York Newsday
"...uncompromising, imagistic, masterly work... The New York Times
Editor's NoteOne of world's most elusive, iconoclastic, and inimitable film directors, Aleksandr Sokurov has become famous for his eerie meditations on the plight of man and the fate of culture. In THE SECOND CIRCLE, a man walks through a Siberian blizzard, arrives at a remote village, and begins the preparations to bury his father. Told in bleakly beautiful black and white with occasional moments of exquisite color, the film approaches the tragedy of the situation with an oppressive and impassive restraint. At times the film takes a darkly humorous tone, as when the son and a neighbor roll the corpse in the snow, or when the coffin nearly tips over, but the overall effect is utterly devastating as the son goes through the arduous, solitary, even absurd, steps necessary to pass into the future. Once again, Sokurov has crafted a beautiful, brutal, and unforgettable work of film art.
|Aleksandr Burov - Cinematographer|
|Aleksandr Sokurov - Director|
|Raisa Lisova - Editor|
|Yuri Arabov - Writer|