Starring Maryana Spivak, Marina Vasilyeva, Aleksey Rozin and Matvey Novikov.
The police, uninterested and bureaucratic, are happy to cede responsibility for the search to volunteers and the wrecks and abandoned buildings of the search add to the feeling of desolation.
Reports from mortuaries and hospitals of boys matching Alyosha’s protract their ordeal.
The film confronts us with the most ghastly of crises – was the lovelessness of their family to blame? Does the moral paucity of the state play its part?
The Russia of Zvyagintsev’s film looks barren and bleak but its brilliance and compassion are compelling.
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. 127 minutes. 2017.