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Andrey Zvyagintsev

An utterly unforgettable, sombre but searing watch, Loveless sees Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) continue to gaze unflinchingly on contemporary social issues, taking risks less compromising filmmakers would never dare to approach. Made without any Russian state funding, his film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and Best Film at the London Film Festival.

"…so pure and so artfully delivered"

Zhenia (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Alexey Rozin) are a middle-class couple going through an acrimonious divorce. She has found an older, wealthier man willing to marry her right away, and he has a highly pregnant girlfriend eagerly waiting for him to be free. With no love left between them, they also have none to give their lonely 12-year-old son, Alyosha (Matvei Novikov), whom both consider an impediment to their plans of starting a new life. Neither party pays much attention to the young boy, until one morning he disappears without trace.

The film ruthlessly zones in on Zhenia and Boris (exceptional performances from Spivak and Rozin), using these characters to explore our 21st century preoccupation with the self, materialism, and social status. Set in mid-winter St. Petersburg and beautifully shot by Zvyagintsev’s long-time collaborator, cinematographer Mikhail Krichman, there is a palpable chill in the air, matched by a soundtrack featuring the music of Arvo Pärt. There is a quiet savagery in Loveless that is so pure and so artfully delivered, that this is thought-provoking cinema at the highest level.