Sascha lives in a village on the Kola Peninsular in northern Russia and dedicatedly manages what is left of an old collective farm. He gets on well with his farm workers who respect him and also tolerate his more or less clandestine love-affair with Anya, a secretary at the local government office. But then Sascha is suddenly faced with a dilemma: the district’s self-seeking administrators, none of whom could be termed squeamish, offer him a lucrative deal for the farm. In legal terms, Sascha doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on since his lease on the farm was only agreed with a handshake. The pressure mounts, and even more so when his employees convince him to stand firm. Against the backdrop of a landscape exposed to the elements, this unflinching man’s destiny takes its course. In this tragedy of a decent man who refuses to surrender to a quagmire of greed and corruption risks everything that is dear to him, director Boris Khlebnikov develops a story from rural Russia into an existential human drama.
(Berlin International Film Festival 2013)