Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, A Gentle Creature is the third fiction feature by Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (In the Fog, Donbass).
Loosely adapted from the short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the film concerns the ‘gentle creature’ of the title, played by Vasilina Makovtseva. A parcel sent to her imprisoned husband is returned undelivered, prompting her to travel from her rural home to the remote region in Siberia where he is being held in the hope of an explanation. But this seemingly simple task becomes an infinitely difficult challenge taking on Kafkaesque proportions.
Beautifully shot by Oleg Mutu, a key figure in the Romanian New Wave whose credits include The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and powered by a stunning performance from Makovtseva, A Gentle Creature is a riveting, brutal, but blackly humorous masterpiece.