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Larisa Sadilova’s first film in nearly a decade is a richly textured portrait of a daring woman’s desires as they play out within the confines of small-town Russian life.

Anna (Kristina Schneider) is having an affair with her married neighbour, a man who drives a truck long distances from their quiet Russian village, explaining to her husband that she travels to Moscow to sell the clothes she knits. When their affair is discovered, both Anna and her lover have to decide what they are willing to risk in the face of community scrutiny and familial obligation.

Making its debut at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard program, Once in Trubchevsk is a charming, understated consideration of what it takes to challenge the status quo. Sadilova captures the rhythms of small-town life – she comes from, and has set many of her other films in Trubchevsk – integrating local residents into her narrative to impressive effect.

“The star performance here comes from a radiant Kristina Schneider who makes Anna such a positive life force that you can sense immediately why she would want a more romantic life, or at least some fresh adventures.” – Screen Daily