East West

Rated 3.0 After World War II, Russian expatriates who fled the Revolution in 1917 are invited back, no hard feelings, to rebuild the Soviet Union. But it’s a sham; those who aren’t imprisoned are executed outright. Director Regis Wargnier follows the experience of one of the few families that avoids those two dire extremes: a Russian-born doctor (Oleg Menchikov), his French wife (Sandrine Bonnaire) and their son. As the paranoia and oppression of life under Stalin grind them down, their marriage—their very humanity—suffers. The tone is solemn and drab, and the film becomes disjointed in its last third (titles announce: “six months later,” “six years later,” “two years later,” “one year later”), but the story is affecting and subtly developed. Bonnaire carries most of the film, and she’s excellent.