Nadezhda Markina

Foreign Objects - Large

The goal of this column has always been to explore international cinema from all around the globe. To that end I’ve been an inconsistent tour guide as our destinations haven’t been as evenly spread about as they could have been. My own preferences lean towards traditional Asian, Western European and South American cinema which means Foreign Objects explores places like Africa, Eastern Europe or India very rarely. Russia is a huge country with a long-standing film community, but in our 131 installments we’ve only visited there twice… first for the abysmal Philosophy of a Knife and then for the mediocre Alien Girl. Which probably explains why it took so damn long for me to return… Elena is a fifty-something house wife to a well-off retiree named Vladimir. Together just two years, their relationship is more an extension of how they met than a true marriage. She was a nurse, he was a patient, and now her caregiver role continues. She sleeps on a couch, wakes early, keeps the high rise apartment clean and prepares Vladimir’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both have grown children from previous marriages, both of them irresponsible in their own ways, but while Vladimir has a soft spot for his daughter he harbors nothing but disdain for Elena’s son. A heart attack sidelines the old man, and with callous forethought he informs Elena that he’s going to change his will to make his daughter sole inheritor. What’s a mother with a son and infant grandson in need […]

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