Time Out London, Issue №1835
reviewed by WH

Set in a port on the Russian/Norwegian border at the time of the Sputnik satellite launch, this suggestive and atmospheric drama deals with a bizarre friendship between local chef Horsey and the stranger, Gherman, he meets in the local boxing club. Director Uchitel allows an aura of mystery to surround the eccentric and slightly taciturn newcomer – whose innovative transistor radio seems to be a symbol of his possibly wider worldly and scientific knowledge. Reminiscent, at times, of Fassbinder's Querelle in terms of nihilistic mood; at others, of more transcendent, narratively less explicit drama, Uchitel's movie proves finally sui generis as it intriguingly moves from misty morning realist poetry to affecting moments of Renoir-esque ecstasy while never offering easy penetration of its enigmatic cinematic surface.