Crystal Swan (Хрусталь)
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Drifting through the grey inertia of post-Soviet Minsk, recent graduate Evelina (Alina Nasibullina) dreams of a life in the USA. Using duplicitous means to apply for a travel visa, her meeting with the US embassy leads to an unexpected expedition to rural Belarus, and a family preparing for a wedding. This curious pretence unearths all manner of juxtapositions: that of east and west, of class divides, and of bitter post-communist generational conflict.
Using vibrant cinematography and the energetic rhythms of 90s house music to directly oppose its bleak setting, Crystal Swan is a wildly confident debut from Darya Zhuk, and a fascinating study of post-communist youth.
Official Selection, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2018