The Gift to Stalin (2011)
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 95
A child who has seen some of the best and worst of the world around him wants a great man to answer some questions in this period drama with deeply tragic overtones. In 1949, Sashka (Dalen Shintemirov) is an eight-year-old Jewish boy from Kazakhstan. Near the outset of the film he gets deported to the Kazakh steppes with his grandfather, with the old man dies, prayer book in hand - meaning that the chances of the boy being reunited with his missing parents are slim at best. En route, matters
Mar 18, 2011 Limited
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Immersed in the alien beauty of the Kazakh steppe, "The Gift to Stalin" moves slowly but engages thoroughly.
It's worth seeing if only as an antidote to the simplistic vision of Kazakhstan presented by Sasha Baron Cohen's Borat.
Alternating between impressive and pedestrian shot-making, professional and amateurish acting, the film aims for gravitas and entertainment but only occasionally achieves either.
That rare small story set in a big time (not unlike Malick's Days of Heaven), poetic both in Khasanbek Kydyraliev's cinematography and in Pavel Finn's script.
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