At a time of social and emotional distress, director Alexei Mizgirev posits that the drive to survive – and surpass – a gruesome situation will prevail. The years when Russia was moving toward a market economy in the l...展开ate ‘90s were difficult ones. Corruption was rampant and crime was often the only option for making a living. This is the mercenary environment for Mizgirev’s story about Yekaterina, a small town librarian living in a drab room and barely eking out a living. Her dreary existence takes a turn for the better when she falls in love with a navy officer and shortly thereafter is willed an apartment. But when her lover discovers a deception in her life, he leaves her for her best friend, and Yekaterina seeks vengeance. What could have been a conventional revenge romance becomes a study of our collective ability to endure despair and rise above it. Shot in locations that lend veracity to the film, [Buben. Baraban] is a blackly humorous slice of a life increasingly out of control that avoids easy endings in favor of clear-eyed insight.