1945, Leningrad. World War II has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Although the siege one of the worst in history is finally over, life and death continue their battle in the wreckage that remains. Two young women, Iya and Masha, search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. 26-year-old Kantemir Balagov follows Tesnota, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, with a powerful period drama.


Cannes Film Festival 2019, Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival 2019


Kantemir Balagov studied film with the acclaimed Russian director Alexander Sokurov and put out three short films as a student. His first feature film ”Tesnota - A Cramped Life” is inspired by a real news item stands out for its bitter, very personal style. This atypical film has earned him the Fipresci Prize at Cannes in 2017 as well as the Grand Jury Prize and the Award for Best Actress at the Premiers Plans Film Festival in Angers in 2018. His second feature, “Beanpole” won the Best Direction Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in the “Un Certain regard”; section.


  • Director
    Kantemir Balagov
  • Screenplay
    Kantemir Balagov, Aleksandr Terekhov
  • Cinematography
    Kseniya Sereda
  • Editing
    Igor Litoninskiy
  • Cast
    Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Konstantin Balakirev, Andrey Bykov, Olga Dragunova, Timofey Glazkov, Ksenia Kutepova, Igor Shirokov
  • Producer
    Natalia Gorina, Sergey Melkumov, Ellen Rodnianski, Alexander Rodnyansky
  • Production Co.
    AR Content, Non-Stop Productions
  • Distributor

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