May 15–July 26, 2020
Most war movies are about battle; Beanpole is about what happens afterward. . . . It’s also a brilliantly told, deeply moving story about love—in all its manifestations, perversity and obstinacy.Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Andrey Bykov, Igor Shirokov,
For two women ex-soldiers reunited in Leningrad in the fall of 1945, the war has officially ended, but peace has yet to arrive. Pale, shellshocked Iya, nicknamed Beanpole for her elongated frame, disappears into sudden stillness; dark-haired, fierce Masha has more outward energy, but her smiles flash with rage. One trauma leads to another, and after a horrible accident, Beanpole and Masha are bound in a strange dyad where friendship, hatred, jealousy, blackmail, sex, sisterhood, and maternal love become indistinguishable. Writer-director Kantemir Balagov similarly entwines discordant tones, knotting together somber historical re-creation, hysterical psychodrama, and moments of absurdist comedy, all awash in shades of green and red that manage to be both bleak and ravishing. Beanpole won the twenty-eight-year-old Balagov the Best Director prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes and was Russia’s entry for a 2019 Academy Award.