The Long Farewell

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This pointillist family portrait by Kira Muratova is one of the bracingly original Soviet filmmaker’s long-banned major works. A kind of psychological breakup movie, The Long Farewell traces the rift that grows between an emotionally impulsive single mother (the transcendent Zinaida Sharko) and her increasingly resentful teenage son (Oleg Vladimirsky), who upends her world when he announces he wishes to live with his faraway father. The seemingly simple premise is rendered anything but simple by Muratova’s dreamy, drifting style, with off-kilter framing, editing, and dialogue continually pushing cinema’s aesthetic and expressive boundaries outward. (Kira Muratova, USSR, 1971, 95 min.) In Russian with English subtitles