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Checking Out

Latvia / Russia, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Fiction)

Director: Carl Biorsmark

The story of Marija, a poor post-Soviet pensioner struggling to adapt to the accelerated culture of the 90s. A deft blend of documentary and fiction - Marija is played by a real pensioner, Lidija Kovtun, and her life formed the basis of the script - this film gradually draws the viewer in to the difficulties of Marija's life without becoming a soap opera. Beautiful B&W wide-screen photography and sequences shot on digital video contrast effectively as an elegant metaphor for the clash of eras depicted in the film.

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