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Elena review

Andrey Zvyagintsev writes and directs this slice of Russian life

Set in suburban Moscow, writer/ director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “pitiless look at human nature” is a sombre, elegantly shot parable.

When her wealthy husband Vladimir (Andrey Smirnov) announces that he plans to leave the bulk of his inheritance to his hedonistic daughter (Elena Lyadova) from a previous marriage, his dutiful second wife Elena (Nadezhda Markina) embarks on a desperate course of action to protect her financial future.

Backed by a sparing Philip Glass score, Elena eloquently shows how, in modern Russia, even family relationships are at the mercy of business.

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