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      Twilight Portrait

      2011 1h 45m Drama List
      Reviews 48% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Three policemen rape Marina, a well-to-do social worker with a doting husband, and the crime alters her life immeasurably. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (1) Critics Reviews
      Kenji Fujishima Slant Magazine Twilight Portrait, as infuriating as it sometimes is in the moment, is ultimately haunting in its ambiguities. Rated: 3/4 Mar 22, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Disturbing and hard-to-believe story. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Seems trying to disclose the dark side of contemporary Russian society, as well as discovering the feminine agenda. But somehow it just stays at the very superficial level. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member An uncomfortable, disturbing drama that grabs our attention but is also too ambiguous in its purpose, as it draws a twilight portrait of a society formed by despicable people and makes us follow a submissive character who hardly inspires our sympathy. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Angelina Nikonova jatkaa venäläisen pahan mielen elokuvan perinteitä kunniakkaasti. Elokuvan säälimätön näkemys nyky-Venäjästä ei juuri mairittele ja tuo mieleen mm. Loznitsan tai Balabanovin elokuvat. Heistä poiketen, Nikonovan elokuvan pinna alta löytää kuitenkin pienen pienen toivon kipinän. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Angelina Nikonova's debut feature "Portret v sumerkakh" is a perplexing tale. It centers on Marina (brilliant Olga Dykhovichnaya) a reasonably well-off social worker in Russia, who gets momentarily trapped in a poor suburb when her handbag gets stolen. She gets picked up by three policemen, but instead of taking her home they rape her brutally. Marina tells no-one, she continues living as she did before, but a darkness is rising within her. At first the film seems like a standard "rape revenge flick," a problematic subgenre that exposes sexual violence but often glorifies revenge and maintains a myth of women being empowered by assault. Nikonova takes her story into even more problematic waters when instead of avenging her tragedy Marina ends up beginning an odd sexual relationship with one of her assailants. The plot is often immensely frustrating in its refusal to acknowledge Marina's trauma directly, even if the avoidance of victimization is in its own right commendable. The characterization is way too mild to be psychologically plausible, as a rape victim Marina isn't portrayed as a strong individual but an unreal one. The fact that the protagonist doesn't want to hurt her assailant but develops an urgent need to understand him is an interesting take, I admit. Marina ends up living with the policeman who raped her, and the movie approaches both characters boldly. The policeman lives with his younger brother and their ill father. He is a broken man but a dangerous one. Marina probes his psyche and in so doing finds a foundation to the horror she went through. Nikonova clearly attempts to analyze sexual violence in detail. She puts it into the context of gender and society. Her effort to examine shades of gray is an ambitious one; she shows the victim, the way the assailant is a victim, the way society incriminates the victim and women in general and the way claims of sexual violence can be used as a form of blackmail. Especially sharp are the scenes where Marina encounters people in her work in social services. Her hands are tied, the empty discussion she offers to the unfortunate is all there just to make it appear as if there is a system, nobody gives her resources to help the victims of poverty nor care for people ravaged daily by violence. Connected with this theme is the shocking opening scene of the film the policemen rape a prostitute, the film boldly makes that prostitute and Marina analogous, equal in value, equal in their suffering. Also, the scene where Marina tries to report the theft of her handbag is exceptionally sharp. A young female police officer accuses her of being careless, Marina is forced to write a false statement incriminating herself. "You come here and bother us with your stories. Next thing you'll be reporting a rape," says the policewoman scornfully. Nikonova's finger is pointing at the state, at culture, at corruption, full of resentment. Despite its numerous merits and rare boldness, I can't really say that "Portret v sumerkakh" succeeds as a film. Somehow it resides too much in the grey twilight the title of the movie admittedly establishes and the end result feels more aimless than multifaceted. Even as all the analysis from different viewpoints is valid, the vaguely apologetic approaches to a serious subject matter just don't convince. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Three policemen rape Marina, a well-to-do social worker with a doting husband, and the crime alters her life immeasurably.
      Director
      Angelina Nikonova
      Producer
      Angelina Nikonova, Olga Dykhovichnaya
      Screenwriter
      Angelina Nikonova, Olga Dykhovichnaya
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      Russian
      Runtime
      1h 45m