How I Ended This Summer

Director: Aleksei Popogrebsky
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 2.0

An intern (Grigoriy Dobrygin) trapped on a Russian Arctic base with an older, more experienced meteorologist (Sergei Puskepalis) discovers via radio transmission that his mentor's family is dead ... yet he doesn't find a way to tell him for weeks and weeks. I presume that full appreciation of this is centered on whether or not you find Dobrygin's refusal to convey this information is realistic - Dobrygin's disgust and loneliness being trapped on an island with exceptionally limited communication resources can only account for so much, as it seems outright demonic to keep something so awful to yourself: an act of absolute cruelty. It's very telling that the only time Dobrygin expresses any kind of real emotion is when playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R., running or listening to his music: is it a statement about his generation's apathy? Is it revenge for being placed in such a meaningless position? Popogrebsky's direction is functional at best, but the shots of the desolate island - by cinematographer Pavel Kostomarov - are hauntingly gorgeous.