Review: ‘The Hunter’

Painfully uneventful, Russian snoozefest "The Hunter" is a retreat into Slavic arthouse mannerism.

Painfully uneventful, Russian snoozefest “The Hunter” spends two hours observing a pig farmer and others doing not much more than rearing pigs, slaughtering pigs and occasionally hunting wild pigs. Once in a while they stare at each other, perhaps with lust or anger — it’s hard to tell. There’s some sex around the 90-minute mark, and then it’s back to pigs. For helmer Bakur Bakuradze, the pic reps a retreat into Slavic arthouse mannerism after the not-great but comparatively interesting “Shultes,” and won’t go far, even on the fest circuit.

Somewhere in Siberia live farmer Ivan (Mikhail Barskovich, a non-pro like everyone else here) and his family, which includes his unnamed wife (Oksana Semyonova), a teen daughter (Yulia Melikhova) who’s barely seen, and his young one-armed son, Kolya (Gera Avdochenok), whose disability is never explained. Ivan hires two femme prisoners on release to work at the farm, and Ivan eventually has sex with one (Tatiana Shapovalova); there must have been some attraction between the two, though you wouldn’t guess it from the minimal dialogue or the blank looks exchanged. Tech credits are as flat and dull as the plot.

The Hunter



A CTB Film Co., Salvador D, Intercinema presentation. (International sales: Intercinema, Moscow.) Produced by Sergey Selyanov. Executive producer, Julia Mishkinene. Co-producer, Archil Gelovani. Directed by Bakur Bakuradze. Screenplay, Bakuradze, Ilya Malakhova.


Camera (color), Nikolay Vavilov; editors, Daria Gladysheva, Ilya Malakhova, Arseniy Troitskiy; production designer, Kirill Shuvalov; costume designers, Elena Gromova, Marianna Gaiduk. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 20, 2011. Running time: 124 MIN.


Mikhail Barskovich, Tatiana Shapovalova, Gera Avdochenok, Vladimir Degilev, Oksana Semyonova, Katerina Maksyutova, Yulia Melikhova.

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