The Bull (2119)
Director: Boris Akopov
Cast: Yuri Borisov, Stasya Miloslavskaya, Afina Kondrashova, Alexander Samson, Igor Savochkin
It is the end of the 1990s and Russia is finding it tough to get back on its feet after the breakup of the USSR. The nation is ravaged by economic and moral decay, a fact reflected in the rise of local criminal gangs. The leader of one gang, a young man who goes by ‘the Bull’, ends up at the police station after a scuffle with a rival mob. He manages to avoid prison thanks to the intervention of a respected mafia boss, who asks him to pull off a risky job in return. Former ballet dancer and graduate of VGIK Boris Akopov offers up an exceptionally mature feature debut; a taut drama whose energetic soundtrack, compulsive narrative rhythm and raw performances faithfully capture the hostile spirit of post-Soviet Russia.