Beanpole ★★★★

Beanpole starts off as seemingly one film, about a Soviet hospital, and then becomes something else entirely. It is a sterile look at motherhood and loneliness, without empathy yet very observant. There's a strange form of non-consensual sex pivotal to the story, which is depicted as unpleasantly as almost everything else. What makes Beanpole work is that the lives shown inform us of our own assumptions and misconceptions, whilst also preserving a through-line that makes the plot more compelling than not. Beanpole is bleak but it makes for a thought-provoking piece that challenges us.

2019 Ranked

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