Valentyn Vasyanovych | 109 | 109 MINS
Ukraine | Subtitles
In this political drama, a soldier suffering from PTSD befriends a young volunteer hoping to restore peaceful energy to a war-torn society set in the future of 2025.

In Detail

Ukrainian director Valentyn Vasyanovych’s (his ‘Reflection’ is also being shown) remarkable Venice 2019 Horizons winner ‘Atlantis’ may immediately switch to exquisitely composed, live-action images of startlingly crisp, austere devastation but his film’s most potent motifs are all established in the eerie, alien opening: war, death, callousness, heat and dirt.

It is the year 2025, a title informs us, one year after “the war” ended. But as gruff, haunted Sergiy (Andriy Rymaruk) grubs a living delivering water in the ruined eastern Ukrainian countryside, it’s clear that the conflict polluted and ravaged the landscape almost as much as it did the PTSD-ridden psyches of its bellicose, suicidal combatants.

Whoever won, everyone lost. Whether the future it imagines turns out to be a cautionary tale or a soberingly accurate prophecy, ‘Atlantis’ is a powerful, essential lament for the humanity and the harmony with nature that are the first casualties buried in the shallow graves of war.

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