Little Scene : The Return

Andrey Zvyagintsev's wonderful debut feature opens with a simple childhood test. A group of boys stand atop a look-out tower on stone pier against a drab Russian sky. Each one jumps, terrified, into the icy water below. The two boys left are brothers Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) and Andrei (Vladimir Garin) and when the older finally jumps, leaving Ivan on the tower in the shivering cold, it's only his mother who eventually comes to his rescue as the night draws in. It's simplistic scene beautifully shot and outlays the rest of the film effortlessly. The way the young brothers push each other in the early parts of the film makes way for the titular return of the boy's father after a 12 year absence and the planned fishing trip which will reconnect them. The spare setting and their mother's odd complacency about the mysterious reappearance set a tense and disturbing tone and
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