×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Settlement

Perception is the key to Sergei Loznitsa's wordless B&W film-essay, which gradually envelops the viewer in the day-to-day activities of a rural mental institution in Russia. Cameraman Pavel Kostomarov garnered a special mention from the docu jury at Karlovy Vary, suggesting future activity for this atmospheric pic on the festival circuit.

Perception is the key to Sergei Loznitsa’s wordless B&W film-essay “The Settlement,” which gradually envelops the viewer in the day-to-day activities of a rural mental institution in Russia. Cameraman Pavel Kostomarov garnered a special mention from the docu jury at Karlovy Vary, suggesting future activity for this atmospheric pic on the festival circuit. Other prospects are limited.

As the mists clear from the fields, workers walk or ride purposefully to their various jobs, with no indication that this is anything other than a typical village. Yet these people, while serene, also seem distinctive: A farmer has a hitch in his step as he lets the cows out, another seems to go through the motions of chopping wood with no actual result, and an oddly animated group boards a bus while another aimlessly harvests grain. It soon becomes apparent, from the faces caught in close-up, that these mundane rituals, earnestly performed, are somehow therapeutic, a link between this world and the one occupied by these citizens behind their cheerful yet blank eyes. Tech credits revolve around the patient, nuanced photography.

The Settlement

Russia

Production: A St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio production. (International sales: St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio, St. Petersburg.) Produced by Vyacheslav Telnov. Executive producer, Sergei Podshivalov. Directed, written, edited by Sergei Loznitsa.

Crew: Camera (B&W), Pavel Kostomarov. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing, docu), July 11, 2001. Original title: Poselyeniye. Running time: 77 MIN.

More Film

  • Richard E. Grant, Bo Burnham Clean

    Richard E. Grant, 'Roma' Among Early Winners at 2019 Indie Spirit Awards

    Richard E. Grant, Bo Burnham and “Roma” were among the early winners at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards, held Saturday on the beach in Santa Monica, Ca. Grant took the best supporting male prize for his role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, about celebrity forger Lee Israel, edging out stiff competition in Adam [...]

  • 2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners List

    2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List (Updating Live)

    The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards are taking place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with “We the Animals” topping nominations with five. “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” and “You Were Never Really Here” are up for four each. The Spirit Awards are chosen by the Film Independent’s 6200 members after an anonymous committee votes on nominations. [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars

    Watching the Academy Awards telecast, then grousing about it the next day, has become a hipster parlor game — it’s what the Complete Oscar Experience now is. The complaints are legion, and we all know what they are, because we’ve all made them. The show was too long. The host bombed. His or her opening [...]

  • Boots Riley arrives at the 34th

    Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After 'BlacKkKlansman' Criticism, But We're Good Now

    “Sorry to Bother You” director and musician Boots Riley, who wrote a scathing criticism of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for its positive representation of law enforcement, said that he and the “Do the Right Thing” auteur are good now. But it took some time (and drama) to get there. Last year, Riley called Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman” [...]

  • Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali, right)

    Read Variety's 1957 Review of 'Green Book' Pianist Don Shirley

    “Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content