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Crystal Swan (2018)Crystal Swan (2018)

Crystal Swan (2018)

A young DJ is caught between tradition and modernity in '90s Belarus

Drama

7.9

movie

Belarus, Germany
Belarusian, English, Russian
Discussion-sparking, Gripping, Thought-provoking
2018
Darya Zhuk, Female director
Alina Nasibullina, Artem Kuren, Ivan Mulin
94 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
Minsk, Belarus, 1996. Velya, an aspiring DJ, wants to move to Chicago to make her dreams come true, but bureaucracy, a phone line and the human condition will put obstacles in her way that will be difficult to avoid.

Our Take

7.9
Igor Fishman

A nostalgic look at ’90s Belarus brings to bear a sharp generational divide. Evalina is a young DJ living in Minsk with her mother, but dreaming of Chicago, the birthplace of House music. Her attempts to gain a US visa land her in a small factory town, where the tensions between her modern lifestyle and old-time traditions boil over.

This promising debut from director Darya Zhuk features a mesmerizing palette of saturated colors and some striking shots calling to mind the work of Douglas Sirk, a star-making turn from lead actress Alina Nasibullina, and a dry wit that keeps the film lithe. At times, the somewhat heavy-handed script gets in the way, but Zhuk’s vivacious filmmaking is a pleasure.

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