A perplexing, absurdist, and depressing study of contemporary, post-glasnost Russia


“He was tired from hunger, he ate in secret. He thought he was stealing food; but that was better than the robbery of strangers ”

– The narrator of the TV show on dogs, starring Oleg in the film 4

The movie 4 was created in 2004 and won 11 major movie awards in Europe, America and Asia.

History of Khrzhanovskiy first film 4 it’s not just a normal movie. Four stray dogs on the streets of Moscow at night open the film. Four people (three customers and a liquor store) accidentally meet at a nightclub. The three (Marina, a female prostitute; Vladimir, pianist / singer; and Oleg, a male meat salesman) do their own creative work by drinking alcohol and trying to connect with each other.

Photo bar: (left to right) Vladimir, Marina and Oleg

Athe film progresses, we realize that Marina is one of the four sisters. Marina (played by Miss Marina Vovchenko) meets two of her sisters (probably playing with her real sisters, if we go by their names and similarities) in her village. A fourth sister has died. Marina travels with three guests in the train room (they also add four). When asked by one of his fellow passengers where he was going, he replied “Bombing — my dentist’s advice. It helps prevent suicide. ” More illustrations, more symbols, unrelated connections. The person who asked the question returns later in the film as a thief stealing a watch at a car accident.

In the first bar of the bar, the conversation between the three of them affected dogs and humans, after Marina cursed the man who had hit the dog at night. “Dog life is bad,”
says one. “Human life is evil” then a short answer. “A healthy dog ​​life” and a follow-up comment from Oleg, a butcher. “Strike a dog on the road, and calamity will follow; beating a man and good things follow, ” added Oleg. “Dogs are close to God,” says Vladimir, meaning that humans are not close to God.

“Dogs are close to God”
Four stray dogs in the Moscow street open the film

Dogs are everywhere, following all the characters – at the meat factory, at the village eating dolls (made of bread chewing!), following the thief who steals the watch from Oleg’s hand, who minutes ago. crashed his car in an attempt to save a stray dog ​​across the street (Oleg, at a bar earlier in the film, said he loved dogs, which led Aristotelian to solve the problem. 4).

There is a Muslim, who sells pork loin (naturally modified?) And kicks a dog (all the animals that Muslim Muslims refrain from doing) and is sharply criticized for what non-Muslim Oleg, who loves dogs and guards, did. dog shows on TV at home, surrounded by sculptures of span dogs and stuffed dogs,.

Four planes take off with prisoners (including Valdimir) forced into the army to fight in undisclosed locations. What is this amazing 4th interest? In one of the comments made at the bar, Vladimir surprisingly says that 4 feet lends stability to the table.

Older women in the village mourn the loss of a new cemetery
his sister Marina

Mthe village of Arina is reminiscent of the film-free world of Tarkovsky Stalker. The population of the village is unusual. Surrounded by barbed wire and warning signals for violators of strong electrical wiring. But Marina knows how to deal with obstacles. The village seems to have survived for a long time, filled with well-known but closed Russian churches and where poor elderly people sing hymns at funerals and sell amazing dolls to survive. There is only one man in the village, or there are women. Most women are toothless and elderly. Even when they are older, they talk about sex and continue to be proud of their breasts, while drinking strong alcohol. The only two girls living in the village are Marina’s brothers and one of them has recently died and was a master at making dolls. On her way home, Marina passes a car / shop that keeps genetically modified piglets. (Everything written in the film is relevant, if you look at it!) An oddball in the village of all women commits suicide after fixing the faces of the last four dolls, using all his money.

There is a strange connection between the outside mud of the city of Marina and the strange mud that gathers in the streets of Moscow as if there had been a flood that required driving bulldozers to clear detritus.

The only man living in the village
carrying four unfinished dolls (see mud)
Tand the film 4 He shows you the works of men, and the deeds of men like animals; Some animals are alive, others are dead. And some of these corpses may have been the result of a banned / crazy / government-sponsored attempt to be sold as valuable meat at a high-end restaurant available but do not appear to have any patrons / customers.

Just a few minutes in the film and any smart viewer will know that this story is a Russian political legend today.

As this author is reviewing the film 4 during the Covid-19 global epidemic, video messages of people living in Wuhan begging for international aid are remembered. Mu 4,
stray dogs are suddenly disrupted by the sudden arrival of land-use equipment to repair a Moscow road at night that did not seem to need major repairs or renovations. Dogs and people in Russia (and now in Wuhan, China) are in a state of shock that is unheard of for the people living with them. And yet life goes on, in a mysterious truth that reminds you of the Ionesco game.

Vladimir, who was watching the fish, talks to the unusual eel of water in glass water tanks, in the film. 4 he was taken by the police on the street and later locked up in a prison camp and forcibly re-trained as a soldier to be carried like hundreds of others to fight the unknown enemy of the country in 4 large planes.

TThe successful Oleg has Mr. Misha who was / was a scientist who is always worried about germs and loves health protection so much that he washes the trash every day. Misha loves his dead wife and wants to go to the grave of his wife and son Oleg. Misha is a scientist who strongly believes in the power of hell. This is when Vladimir Sorokin’s contributions are seen as a novelist / playwriter / script writer who appears to be a devout Christian, baptized at the age of 25 and refusing to join the Komsomol, a young communist group. Sorokin later won the People’s Booker Award and other international awards for his work translated from Russian into over 20 languages. Sorokin-in-cheek tongue 4 that perhaps only chess lovers can do that The site includes the names of the famous Russian chess players Bronstein and Lukin, who dropped nonchalantly with Vladmir at the bar appearing as the genetic names of well-known scientists in the myth he fabricates.

There is a street sign being cleaned up 4 and water pumps and bulldozers removing mud. At the end of the film, you see a road cleared. But strangely enough, who is using this clean environment? A filthy thief and a stray dog. No details in this film are not legends. When the women of the village eat and enjoy the meat of the dead pig, there is a proper supply of food. When a pig’s head is thrown into a pig pen for the other pigs to catch, there is food for thought. Dolls made of chewed bread are eaten by stray dogs, there is a proper diet.


These are some of the highlights of the film’s (script by Vladimir Sorokin). Is the film directed by director Ilya Khrzhanovskiy (his first film) or Sorokin or both? The film is a strong and anti-modern Russian, reminiscent of the occasional Joseph Heller book Gwira 22, it was later made into a popular film by director Mike Nichols. Somewhere, crazy inscriptions for 4
they come together. It is also reminiscent of another very recent Chinese film — Bo Hu’s The elephant is silent
(2018). Bo Hu committed suicide shortly after making his film, while Khrzhanovskiy made his second film. Kanemayo 4 would have another proper name “4 dogs no to be silent, “on the lines of Bo Hu film.

PS Bo Hu first film The elephant is silent (2018), a modern anti-Chinese film has already been highlighted on this blog. (Click on the name of the Chinese movie on this page for comments.). Kanemayo 4 won awards at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey (Best Director), Athens International Film Festival in Greece (City of Athens), Buenos Aires International Film Festival in Argentina (Best Director) , Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival in Armenia (Jury Special Prize), Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands (Golden Cactus and Tiger Awards), Seattle International Film Festival in the USA (New Lead Award) , Sochi Open Russian Film Festival in Russia (Special Jury Award), Titanic International Film Festival in Budapest, Hungary (Breaking Waves Award), Transparent International Film Festival in Romania (Transylvania trophy and Best Cinematography ) and Valdiva’s international film festival in Chile (Best Sou ndtrack). About 15 years later, the film director Khrzhanovskiy has made his second major film debut and disruptive DAU in 2019. The DAU film project also features Sorokin’s author. 4 promoting Khrzhanovskiy.


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