Ilana works in her father’s garage to help make ends meet. One evening, family and friends gather to celebrate the betrothal of her brother David. In the night, the young couple kidnapped and a ransom is demanded.
A member of the Jewish family in Kabardino-Balkaria, North Russia, Ilana is a young woman trapped in a tradition demanding complete devotion. Working in a garage to help her father, she has a non-Jewish boyfriend. ''Closeness'' is a realist film that describes the despair of those who try to realize their desire, breaking through harsh realities. The remarkable debut film by Balagov is reminiscent of the social reality in the Dardenne brothers’ rather than the transcendental image of Aleksander Sokurov. Ilana has to protect herself from the stubbornness of religion and tradition, who gives in to the desolate reality. Most scenes photographed indoors offer a dark and claustrophobic atmosphere. The title meaning ´intimacy´ resonates with Ilana´s situation, and also tells the position of the camera in close contact with characters. [JANG Byungwon]
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