After the name change of “Oscar Best Foreign Language Film”, this year’s “Oscar Best International Film” can be described as a group of heroes. Among them, Russia’s post-90s director Contemir Barragov’s “The Tall Man” is quite a master, and has received keen attention. This work has previously won an award for Best Director in a Focus Unit and the Febisi Award at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.
Inspired by Alexeijevich’s “No Woman in War,” Tall Man has unearthed a little-known side in the heavy post-war history and aimed the camera at women who participated in World War II-in this In the war with the highest participation of women, the Soviet Union’s exploitation of women’s potential was the best. When the United States was hesitant to even allow women to join non-combat teams at the beginning of the war, Soviet women had already become fighter pilots, tank pilots, and anti-aircraft gunners … However, the torture they experienced during the war was It was ignored for a long time afterwards.
The story took place in Leningrad in the fall of 1945. After 900 days of siege operations (the Leningrad Defence War), it was full of ruins, vicissitudes, and still shrouded in shadow. The life of the “survivor” has been continued, but the multidimensional trauma caused by the war cannot be eliminated.
Anemia cities are doomed to have pale faces. The hospital became a veritable “center of the universe”, linking the fate of all the characters in the movie-after the heroes Ia and Martha returned from the battlefield, they worked as nurses in the hospital; the mother of Martha’s suitor Sasha, Identity was unveiled at the hospital … Other women, also wearing white nurse uniforms, had vague faces, but were always busy.
The tall man was originally called “дылда”, which means “tall and clumsy” in Russian. In the film, what is called like this is the tall, thin and pale Iya. Outside of work, Yia also raises a little boy Pashka alone. However, the post-concussion syndrome, like the cannonball that hurt her during the battle, occurred from time to time: her eyes were dull, her throat made a weird noise, her body couldn’t move like a freeze, and her breathing and consciousness were no longer under her control. . Because of this, during a fight with Pashka, Ia suddenly became ill and smothered the child. For the next 130 minutes, accompanied by the sound of wheezing and the ticking of the clock, the audience was forced to immerse in the defocus and suffocation caused by this trauma.
Pashka’s real mother is Martha. After learning about Pashka’s death, an intriguing smile appeared on her face instead of the sadness of the bereavement. As a female warrior returning to Leningrad from the Berlin front, in addition to her injuries, Martha also suffered the hidden pain that men had not experienced during the war-providing sexual services to officers on the front and exchanging their bodies for survival. The constant abortion caused Martha to lose her uterus and completely lose her fertility. Therefore, having a child became her only wish to survive. In desperation, she even forced Yia and the hospital director to give birth to her in the name of atonement.
The film uses different colors to imply that they have two very different personalities: the green color representing life and hope, corresponding to Ia, who is always quiet and dominated; Martha, who is lively and unwilling to fate, and uses whatever means to have a child, always Dressed in warm and powerful red.
Red and green penetrate the clothing and the environment. As the plot develops, it constantly flows between Iia and Martha, symbolizing the decline of the relationship between the characters, and also forming a dialogue in silence, witnessing post-war Russia A desire for new life in ruins and scars.
After a lot of tossing for their children, the result was still futile. Martha and Iya live on each other, facing their unsolved fate with their scars together. The end of the film-the original red on the wall gave way to green, Martha wore a green dress borrowed from the tailor, and Ia replaced Martha’s red sweater. With hugs and kisses, red and green were gradually intertwined until the face They were stained with green wall paint, and they didn’t distinguish each other. At this point, Ia and Martha have ushered in their own new life.
Rather than say that the relationship between Ia and Martha is the same-sex love, it is better to say that this is a love affair between two scarred women-when the traditional family no longer accepts them, they establish a kind of intimacy themselves relationship. This can’t help but think of Yin Lichuan’s film “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”. In the last 20 minutes of the film, Da Ping and Hai Li finally met frankly. In the face of the hardships of life, two women who were once hostile met with each other. This feminist warmth eventually became the only warm color of the broken world.
It is worth mentioning that the female images in The Tall Man are very rich and three-dimensional, presenting a picture of the survival of women after the war-in addition to Iia and Martha, as well as Sasha’s mother who is high in the government, there are also A wife who agrees with her husband’s “euthanasia” … In contrast to this, the strong male character is always absent throughout the film. Most of the triumphant heroes on the battlefield injured their limbs, and some were even unable to move, and they had lost control of their bodies; neither Sasha nor Sasha’s father was timid or silent. In front of autonomous and sober women, men have become vulnerable groups. Therefore, I prefer to think of it as a feminist film rather than an LGBT film.
Of course, in the context of the post-war society, Iia and Martha are not the only sympathetic characters in the film. Wounded soldiers in the hospital, passers-by on the street watching suicide … Almost everyone is depressed and will not complain or even talk about their pain. Perhaps, for them, pain is as ubiquitous as the air on which they breathe. In this way, we might as well regard the suffocation caused by each illness as a escape from the present life-either pain or death, perhaps the theme of the fate of most people in that era.
At the same time, the film also reflects many social problems such as uneven food distribution and the prevalence of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union after the war. And the crazy and distorted relationship between people also reflects the incompleteness and collapse of the entire Soviet society in the early post-war period-the clunky and crowded trams are like a lingering post-war world, procrastinating, obsolete, and noise rang … It is still worth pondering to this day.
Bibliography: “I’m a Woman Soldier and I’m a Woman” Alexeijevic