Long Farewells

Kira Muratova’s justly celebrated 1971 feature tells the story of a divorced technical translator (Zinaida Sharko) who’s reluctant to let go of her grown son even as she avoids an opportunity to pursue a serious romantic relationship. A potent provincial melodrama (Muratova’s term) with striking black-and-white cinematography, this isn’t as obviously transgressive as her later films, though it was banned in the Soviet Union (apparently because the characters are so unhappy) and Muratova didn’t work again for seven years. One of her outstanding traits that shines through here is her ability to direct both professional and nonprofessional actors. In Russian with subtitles. 95 min. (JR)

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