Khrustalyov, My Car!, Dir. Aleksei German, Russia, 1998, 147 min, Russian with English subtitles
In Moscow 1953 the anti-Jewish purges are ongoing and Stalin is on his deathbed. When General Yuri Glinsky, a military surgeon, tries to escape, he is abducted, taken to the lowest rungs of hell and deposited at the heart of the enigma.
Alexei German’s deeply personal penultimate film is a work of solid and constant disorientation, masterfully orchestrated. Enigmatic phrases, sounds, gestures and micro-events pass before the alternately jumpy and exhausted characters can make sense of them. German’s lustrous, high-contrast black and white cinematography and meticulously constructed soundscape are permeated with the feel of life in a totalitarian society, where something monumental is underway but no one knows precisely what or when or how it will break.
The 4K restoration of Khrustalyov, My Car! was supervised by James White, Arrow Films and produced by Daniel Bird.