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April 19, 2013 10:48 am
“They always come for you at night” – “they” being Stalinists in 1940s Estonia and violent sex traffickers in the 1990s. In this Finnish adaptation of Sofi Oksanen’s novel, women are raped and brutalised by both sets of monsters, drawing clear parallels that unite geriatric survivor Aliide and punkish young prostitute Zara. The film depends a little too much on stomach-churning violence, on a knowledge of Soviet history and on what looks like coincidence. It is nevertheless a harrowing exploration of enslavement and impossible choices.
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