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In this post-World War II subtitled drama, an ŽmigrŽ Russian doctor returns to the Soviet Union with his French wife and child only to find that life is everything but what Stalin promised.


Worried about French spies, the Soviets are immediately suspicious of the wife, whose life is quickly put in danger. Soon, every day is a hard-fought battle for freedom.


Sandrine Bonnaire, who is captivating as the wife, Marie, exceptionally matches Oleg Menshikov's cool detachment as Alexei, the doctor. As a young swimmer

smitten with Marie, Sergei Bodrov somehow manages to muster sensitivity despite being filled with an overwhelming sense of hatred.


Regis Warnier leads this flock of talent like a brilliant orchestra conductor, with judgment that is strong, poignant and gentle.

Bottom line

If you loathe subtitles, this movie will change your mind.