BIFF17 Loveless26th August, 2017
Somewhere in suburban Moscow, a marriage is in its death throes. Angry, embittered and frustrated, Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Alexey Rozin) have come to the end of their long and toxic road together. As their relationship flounders, both have moved on – she has run to the arms of a wealthy older businessman, and he is already expecting another child with his younger girlfriend. However, they are still miserably shackled together in the family apartment until the divorce is finalised.
Caught in the middle of this nightmare is their 12-year-old son Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), a seemingly unloved and unwanted burden each wants to palm off on the other, or simply pack off to boarding school, or the army. Unsupervised, neglected, and fully aware of his parents’ feelings, one day Alyosha simply disappears without a trace.
It falls to his estranged parents to find some way to work together and lead a search for the runaway boy, which takes them on a painful journey into their own past.
Filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev uses this couple’s desperate hunt to frame a damning examination of modern Russia’s politics, oppression, corruption, and the culture’s dearth of empathy that is strangling any hope for a happy marriage.
Winner Jury Prize 70th Cannes Film Festival, 2017
In Competition 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 2017
“... a stark, mysterious and terrifying story of spiritual catastrophe.” - The Guardian