A raw, uncompromising narrative set in the bleak underbelly of an impoverished neighbourhood of Nalchik, a Russian industrial city in the northern Caucasus.
Living in a predominantly Muslim area, a young Jewish couple are abducted. The ransom is too high for either parents to reach. Family and community relations reach boiling point, particularly as independent-minded Ila (a powerful debut by Darya Zhovnar) continues with her relationship with Zalim, a man ‘not from the tribe.’ But the question remains – how far is the family willing to go to save their son, David?
The directorial debut from Kantemir Balagov is seedy, confronting and simply unpleasant, populated with a series of characters that are simultaneously overbearing and deeply unlikeable.
Screened in the Melbourne International Film Festival.