Left unfinished after the sudden death of its lead actress,
The River is a fascinating, fragmented blend of fiction
and ethnography set in a remote Siberian community. After being
expelled from her village for stealing, a mother (Svinoboeva) takes
refuge in a leper colony in the desolate Arctic region of Yakutia.
But jealousy soon wrenches this tiny band of outcasts apart. This
tale of passion and betrayal is unique in Balabanov’s filmography
for its haunting, almost folkloric quality.
RUN TIME: 25min
Part of Arrival of a Train, a four-part omnibus that pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the the Lumière brothers’ landmark film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, the gorgeously lensed, sepia-soaked Trofim “is simultaneously a Dostoyevskian tale of passionate crime and punishment, a valentine to early films and an exhilarating display of the talent of the Russian director” (The New York Times).