Friend Of The Deceased

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Anatoli (Alexandre Lazarev) is having trouble making money in the new economy of Russia. Attitudes and actions he employed before the economic collapse don't work any more. Corruption is rampant, housing developments have dirt streets, grandmothers and children beg in the streets, Men deal in black market cigarettes and guns. But, Anatoli's wife, Katia (Angelika Nevolina), is extremely successful. Anatoli is humiliated by her prosperity and her interest in a handsome colleague. Soon Katia moves out of their tiny apartment and in with the man. Anatoli is so demoralized he hires a hit man to have himself killed. But he meets Lena (Tatiana Krivitska) and changes his mind. A series of surprise twists and turns occur and Anatoli finds his life spinning off in directions he never imagined when he tries to call the hit off. This film is winning audiences around the world and kudos at many film festivals. It was the official Ukrainian entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (with English subtitles.)

This fascinating glimpse into modern day Russia with it's plot surprises are wooing ticket buyers in large numbers. To make money, Anatolia is reduced to lying under oath. Lena is reduced to prostitution. She's devastated when she marries, but her husband chooses not to be married in the church. Then it is implied he beats her and sells her. Everything in the culture comes down to money. Anatoli's army buddy says, "Before we had friendships, now we have business relationships." The society is spiritually groundless, devoid of any moral absolutes. Along with the corruption and despair in the film, many moderate crudities are spoken and several obscenities,including a few f and s words. Adulterous sex is implied and some breast nudity is shown. In spite of this bleak picture, the film has a happy ending, and exposes the necessity for a moral code to support the new capitalism. However, the obscene language and nudity prevent us from recommending this apparently realistic look at post communist Russia

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
Sony Picture Classics, 550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, NY, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (16) times - Mild 2, Moderate 14

Obscene Language: Several (5) times - (f-word 2, s-word 1, other 2)

Profanity: Exclamatory only, few (3) times (Oh My God 2, Good God, 1)

Violence: Man is shot, a woman has bruises from an implied beating

Sex: Implied as an unmarried man and woman appear in bed together, breast nudity

Nudity: Few times (breast nudity); near nudity (man and woman appear in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - (Implied that man sells wife's body in prostitution)

Drugs: Many times - alcohol drinking to excess, cigarette smoking

Other: None

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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