Experimental feature

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Experimental feature

Sergei Loznitsa, 2012

New Wave Films

Morality is the first casualty of war in Loznitsa’s bleak 2012 Palme d’Or contender. It is in a moral fog that Nazi-aligned militia and partisans alike turn against their neighbours in wartime Belorussia.

A night-time knock on the door leads to suspected collaborator Sushenya being dragged away from his wife and child.

Sushenya, though, cuts a Christlike figure: an outcast showing mercy to his would-be killers. Long takes (and a fair few longueurs) depict war as a waiting game: unbearably tense but with moments of sickening, casual brutality.

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