Krotkaja / A Gentle Creature / Krotká

fiction / 2017 / France, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania / col. / 143 min.

When the parcel a woman living in a remote Russian village sent to her incarcerated husband comes back, she wants to know why. Frightened and worried, she sets off on a nightmarish journey to a faraway prison, or rather an impenetrable fortress, where she believes her husband is serving his sentence. What awaits her is absurd bureaucracy, the treacherous dregs of society, abuse, violence. In the end, she realises that lack of freedom is not constrained behind barbed wire and the walls of a jail, but that it dominates a society stripped of humanity. Loznitsa’s feature is an uncompromising allegory of the condition of the Russian soul and the current prison system as a legacy of Stalin’s social engineering, part of the state machinery and a tool of power. A Gentle Creature is a radical political work about a country in which the authorities and citizens play the role of phantoms, serving as empty caskets, merely imitating the function they should perform.

Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Screenplay: Sergei Loznitsa
Photography: Oleg Mutu
Editor: Danielius Kokanauskis
Cast: Vasilina Makovtseva, Marina Kleshcheva, Liya Akhedzhakova, Valeriu Andriuta, Boris Kamorzin, Sergei Kolesov, Dimitry Bykovsky