Cargo 200 (2007)

Cargo 200 (2007)
aka: Gruz 200
Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Writer: Aleksey Balabanov
Cast: Cast: Agniya Kuznetsova, Aleksei Poluyan, Leonid Gromov
A young woman is taken hostage by a police officer and subsequently abused by the lawman gone mad.
Bleak supposodly true tale set in a Soviet Union town during 1984, its main theme is about the total abuse of power those in charge had over their people. The film introduces us to several of the towns characters from down on their luck bootleggers to a young soldier/parratrooper, a professor of atheism, and various low to high ranking police officers/officials and their family's.

The core plot concerns abusive Captain Zhurov who uses his lower ranking officers to enforce his own rule, he kidnaps a young woman and keeps her chained to a bed as his slave. Sometimes treating her kind in the hope he'd win her affection, other times sexually/mentally abusing her in some form or other. All the other characters intermingle around the main plot somehow, conversing on wide subjets like their lack of money, faith and ultimatly hope.

Even though it is a very grim and harsh movie at times, other times its easy to lose yourself in the belief that your watching real people just going about their daily lives. Leaving aside the films Russian setting the film it reminded me most of was Hector Babenco's Pixote, Cargo 200's (name by the way comes from the transportation of soldiers bodies from warzones) director Balabanov likewise has a strange ability for turning a shocking moment into either a semi-comic one or just making it seem so natural you don't stop to question it. I was transfixed for most the duration but would only recommend this for more patient viewers.
(8½ out of 10)

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