Inspired by the oral histories of Soviet war veterans compiled by Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich in her 1985 book, The Unwomanly Face of War, 27-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov has worked to portray the criminally underrepresented experiences of female soldiers grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Critics hailing the second film Balagov describe it as “intense,” “intimate,” and “rewarding” (The Hollywood Reporter) and as “ferocious and extraordinary,” during which “you quite often have to remind yourself to breathe” (Variety). Two young women (one so tall and slender she’s referred to as Beanpole) are nurses in a Leningrad hospital, immediately following the end of World War II. A film about relationships between broken people, living in a ravaged nation after a catastrophic war – BEANPOLE exudes deep empathy for its characters in the face of many obstacles fate has thrown in their path. This is a film about overcoming loss and inventing new ways to get through each day. Balagov is a major talent who has only just begun to make his mark. (Exerpted from Film Forum.
BEANPOLE is Russia’s official submission to the 2020 Academy Awards® for Best International Film.
"Moving, disturbing and overwhelming." - Guardian
"Both a quietly captivating character study and a bleak snapshot of life in post-World War II Leningrad, this offbeat Russian drama is evocative and richly textured." - Cinemalogue
"Beanpole, the third feature from young Russian director Kantemir Balagov, is cooked with a gut-wrenching Bergman-esque agitation." - Always Good Movies