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Russia, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Red Star – New Russian Cinema)

Director: Alexander Rogozhkin

It's September 1944 and Finland is on the brink of abandoning its treaty with Germany and conceding territory to the advancing Soviet Red Army. On a desolate landscape Veiko, a Finnish soldier is abandoned by a bunch of Germans, tied to a rock and dressed in a SS uniform, designed to attract the ire of Russian snipers. Veiko frees himself and hides in a nearby hut where Anny, a young Lapp farmer, is nursing a Russian soldier, Ivan, who is suffering from concussion. None of them speak each other's language, and are forced to communicate through body language.

A thorough delight, The Cuckoo is an intelligent, intimate and humorous anti-war film that has delighted Film Festival audiences around the world and bagged a swag of awards.

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