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TIFF Capsule Review: "In the Fog"

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Indiewire September 7, 2012 at 9:31AM

Urkainian director Sergei Loznitza's narrative feature debut "My Joy" found the veteran documentarian was equally capable of distorting the truth through a Lynchian allegorical lens that sifted through the demons of Russian society. His follow-up is an equally grim but more narratively precise look at the country's history through the lens of WWII. After Sushenya, a lower class Russian laborer, escapes a Nazi deathtrap, his comrades assume he's in cahoots with the enemy. At first slated for execution by his former peers, Sushenya escapes death again at the hands of the Nazis, launching into a prolonged escape through the frosty Ukranian forest. Ponderously slow and mopey in a tone that can only be described as distinctively Ukranian from start to finish. As the mystery of Sushenya's inexplicable survival deepens, "In the Fog" develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace. As with "My Joy," this is a story about people trapped by the conditions around them to the point where free will is a questionable proposition, and the only certainty is that all things come to an end. Criticwire grade: B [Eric Kohn]
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Urkainian director Sergei Loznitza's narrative feature debut "My Joy" found the veteran documentarian was equally capable of distorting the truth through a Lynchian allegorical lens that sifted through the demons of Russian society. His follow-up is an equally grim but more narratively precise look at the country's history through the lens of WWII. After Sushenya, a lower class Russian laborer, escapes a Nazi deathtrap, his comrades assume he's in cahoots with the enemy. At first slated for execution by his former peers, Sushenya escapes death again at the hands of the Nazis, launching into a prolonged escape through the frosty Ukranian forest. Ponderously slow and mopey in a tone that can only be described as distinctively Ukranian from start to finish. As the mystery of Sushenya's inexplicable survival deepens, "In the Fog" develops an unearthly spell that largely makes up for its cerebral pace. As with "My Joy," this is a story about people trapped by the conditions around them to the point where free will is a questionable proposition, and the only certainty is that all things come to an end. Criticwire grade: B [Eric Kohn]

This article is related to: Reviews, Toronto International Film Festival, In the Fog, Sergei Loznitsa





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