Dylda [Beanpole] (2019)

Director: Kantemir Balagov
Writer: Kantemir Balagov, Aleksandr Terekhov
Cast: Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Andrey Bykov, Igor Shirokov, Konstantin Balakirev, Kseniya Kutepova, Alyona Kuchkova, Timofey Glazkov
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 26.10.2019

Content Note: ableism

Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko), called Dylda – Beanpole – by everyone, is a nurse at the tail end of the second World War that left Leningrad pretty much devastated. When she isn’t working, she takes care of her little boy Pashka (Timofey Glazkov). Things aren’t easy for the two of them and made harder by the fact that Iya has episodes – stupors – a remnant of the work she did at the front. But they make do, at least for a while, especially with the help of the doctor Iya works with, Nikolay (Andrey Bykov). When Iya’s best friend Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina) who was a soldier returns, things have changed though and both have to figure out what to do now.

Dylda is a strong film that echoed with me long after it was over. It tackles some very tough topics with sensitivity, but not by pulling its punches. I’m not so sure about how it handles disability – there was a bit much going on here. But other than that, I was really impressed.

The film poster showing Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko) with a hand covering her face.
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