Pavel is a graduate student posted to an Arctic weather station in the summer’s permanent daylight. His only colleague is the tough, taciturn and obsessive Sergei, who’s been doing this work for possibly one decade too many. Their only link to the outside world is by a choppy radio set.
Pavel is manning the radio one day when an urgent message comes in for Sergei: a message that Pavel fails to pass on for fear of the older man’s reaction. Pavel’s attempts to cover up afterwards see him digging himself even further into trouble, and eventually he decides to go into hiding until the relief helicopter arrives.
This Russian film takes a very, very long time to get started and doesn’t scale great heights of tension, but it’s a great setting and a darkly funny study of how isolation can warp men’s perspective. 6/10
Released April 7, 2011.