Beanpole

This year’s Academy Award submission from Russia. In post-WWII Leningrad, two young women, Iya and Masha, 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. A shocking accident brings them closer and also seals their fates. The 28-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov won Un Certain Regard’s Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for this richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war. In Russian with subtitles. (137 mins)

“Critic’s Pick. Dazzling… a brilliantly told, deeply moving story about love… from the sensationally talented Russian director Kantemir Balagov.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Ferocious and extraordinary. You often have to remind yourself to breathe.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety