Paper Soldier (IMDB 2008 ) is a film that has managed to win prizes in Venice.
This is surprising. The film is about a doctor and his wife and mistress
who work for the Soviet Space program. The film provides a contrast between
the achievement of the Soviet system in putting the first man in space while
maintaining Gulags, executing people and causing mass starvation. The Doctors
parents were taken to Gulags under Stalin. The film has many scenes shot in
bleak, muddy, snowy landscapes of the Soviet steppe. The film’s narrative is
severely lacking. It’s hard to care about these people. Bleak and depressing
has been achieved. Interesting and involving has been avoided. This is the
first film I’ve walked out of for 2 years. It was towards the end, but this
was because somehow I decided that their endurance required my endurance in
staying at the film.