Cinema: East-West

Directed by Regis Wargnier

After World War II, the Soviet Union invited all its emigres to come home and help rebuild the motherland. Most of them were instantly killed or sent to the Gulag, victims of Stalinist paranoia. This complex, heartbreaking film recounts the brutal struggle of one couple to survive. Oleg Menchikov plays a doctor, valuable to the state, who gets along by pretending to go along. Sandrine Bonnaire is his French-born wife, on whom the state visits its worst depredations. But East-West is more than their story; it is a great, gray epic of a society wasted and terrorized, its idealism sadistically traduced....

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