Cargo 200

One might think that you should try everything. To have a bucket list and do all the exciting things you can think of throughout your life, à la Knocking on Heaven’s Door. It might also be as mundane as watching a film, however. I kept thinking so...

Today, I watched something that - at least, that’s how I feel - a sane director cannot do, would not do in the first place, even from an ethical perspective. To think up of such a maniacal script, you have to be insane, yourself. I’m really questioning Balabanov, who directed Cargo 200, a film set in 1984, with a very Orwellian atmosphere. Prior to watching this film, I had positive associations with the USSR. I knew about the corruption and Chikatilo (I mean, who doesn’t), but Balabanov had obviously crossed a line, with this one. It’s pure sacrilege! How can you make up something like that? He tried to portray the Soviet realities. Maybe it really was like that. I’m not going to question the film’s authenticity. But having been brought up by Soviet-bred parents, I came to understand that Russia as it was in the ‘80s was a very special place. Special for my parents, anyway (who, mind you, are very good people). If this happened in the USSR, then, by law of nature, it happened in the West. Just like that. People are people, and when it comes to maniacs, there are plenty to share around the world. Think of American Psycho. But of course, this is a Russian movie, and everything must be very, very brutal. I wouldn’t even call this film a horror movie, as it does not contain any kind of suspense or special effects, etc. This film wants to show reality, but comes out as reality on drugs, something that a movie should aim not to be. Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, and other American films about the Vietnamese war are all very thought-provoking and deep. They are exciting to watch, but also have some kind of closure towards the end. On the other hand, Cargo 200 harbours a completely different scene. Masterfully made, it is still relevant, yet it has no awe-inspiring explosions, no action, and most of all, it has no closure; the end is not the end, and you keep thinking about this film for a long time and how lucky you are to be where you are, and to just be alive.

I do not recommend this film to anybody.

$root - whoami
sick psycho
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Tagged under Film Food for Thought Russia Depression