A handful of Russian émigrés in Los Angeles walk a tightrope between good and evil in this independent drama from filmmaker Alejandro Adams. Artem (Artem Mischin) has had a hard time holding on to a job since coming to the United States, much to the annoyance of his wife Yelena (Yelena Segal). When Artem is fired when his boss decides his health insurance is too expensive, he goes on a bender and ends up in an illegal gambling den run by Misha (Michael Umansky) and Sasha (Alexander Shkolnikov). The underground casino is just one of Misha and Sasha's businesses; they also run a "modeling agency" in which they persuade attractive young women to sign on, charge them large amounts for their training services, introduce them to drugs and then persuade them to become prostitutes to work off the bills. After Artem loses $30,000 to Misha and Sasha, the gangsters offer him a way to work off the dept -- abduct a teenage girl who they've been trying to recruit into high-end prostitution. Babnik (the title is Russian slang for a womanizer) received its world premiere at the 2010 Cinequest Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Babnik
Adams' fresh eye and ear, and his way with mostly non-pro thesps hold attention.
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