How I ended this Summer

A review of How I ended this Summer by Rob Mason

Tense and gripping, steeped in atmosphere and beauty,  The story is centred round two men working at a meteorological research outpost in the Russian Arctic, their personalities are so different that they begin to quarrel. Sergei and Pavel the two main characters symbolically represent different sides of Putin's Russia, one shaped by older traditional ways, the other struggling to discover a new set of values.  The dialogue is fairly sparce but this works towards building the tension between them. Pavel Danilov (Grigory Dobrygin), aged around 20, with a silver ring in his left ear and carrying a rifle seems like a Russian version of James Dean.

At the 2010 Berlin festival, Sergei Puskepalis and Grigory Dobrygin rightly shared the prize for best actor, while Pavel Kostomarov's haunting, evocative and at times breathtaking photography received the Silver Bear for artistic achievement. The film itself went on to win the best film award at last year's London film festival.