Movie Short Review: ‘Anna’

Review by David Ferguson

Greetings again from the darkness. Loneliness in middle-age is recognizable regardless of citizenry, gender or geography. Writer-Director Dekel Berenson exposes this on screen as we watch Anna (Svetlana Alekseevna Barandich) slogging through another day at the butcher shop where she works. Anna then trudges home in the snow, stopping only to feed the stray dogs … unnoticed by the leering young men catcalling other women.

Anna lives with her teenage daughter Alina (Anastasia Vyazovskaya), who has an active social life. A radio advertisement provides a ray of hope in the bleakness of Anna’s existence, thanks to an organization that organizes parties so American men can meet Ukranian women. Anna is hopeful that her cooking and cleaning skills are enough to tempt one of these men.

Despite looking older than her 45 years, and having a figure so full it stands out in the lineup of other women at the party, Anna interacts with one redneck Texan over drinks. Her translator (Alina Chornogub) creates a humorous segment for viewers as her translations are, shall we say, a bit off. Anna soon discovers that middle-aged loneliness is tough to overcome, but being a protective mother becomes part of one’s soul. The 15 minute film is in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and it is excellent filmmaking.

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