Film review: In the Fog (12A)

 

Geoffrey Macnab
Saturday 27 April 2013 18:56
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Unmissable: Vladislav Abashin, right, and Vladimir Svirskiy, centre, carries his captor
Unmissable: Vladislav Abashin, right, and Vladimir Svirskiy, centre, carries his captor

You can't imagine a British or American director making In the Fog. Russian film-maker Sergei Loznitsa takes a lyrical, contemplative approach to material that in other hands might have played like just another movie about wartime lies and Nazi brutality.

Like Elem Klimov's masterpiece Come and See, In the Fog is set in Belarus during the Nazi occupation. This, though, is a chamber piece next to Klimov's epic.

The main character is Sushenya (Vladimir Svirskiy), a railway worker released by the Nazis after his comrades were hanged.

The partisans are convinced he is a traitor and resolve to kill him. The pacing is slow. The director pays as much attention to the natural world as he does to his characters.

Dialogue is sparse but we hear dogs barking or frogs croaking as the protagonists make their way through a vast forest. The Dirty Dozen it isn't but in its meditative way, this is moving and meticulously crafted film-making.

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