An abrasive riff on her perestroika magnum opus “The Asthenic Syndrome” (which copped Berlin’s Special Jury Prize in 1990), Kira Muratova’s “Second Class Citizens” is a strained comic odyssey about one woman’s search for order in an absurdist modern world. Helmer’s visionary rep may earn pic some fest dates, but theatrical biz appears insignificant.
First seen dancing to a Cher song and reciting a long definition of the word “coma,” Vera (Natalia Buzko, star of the middle tale in Kuratova’s 1997 “Three Stories”) begs a passing doctor for shelter from her abusive boyfriend. When the medico appears to accidentally kill the b.f., Vera wanders the city streets with corpse stuffed in a suitcase, meeting a series of buffoonish citizenry. While seemingly meant to burlesque nouveau riche of region, comic odyssey falls largely flat due to numerous extended takes and strident delivery that soon grows wearisome. Tech credits are pro. Original title translates literally as “secondary people”; print caught was subtitled “Unimportant People.”