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23rd May 2019

Looking For Love

Anna, Svetlana Alekseevna Barandich, is a single mother in Ukraine. By day she works in a slaughterhouse where one-day she hears on the radio about a possible way to find love.

That way is to attend a ‘party’, organised Liana Khobelia, who invites men over from America to have their pick of Ukrainian women and potentially take one back to the good ol’ US of A with them.

She signs up and finds herself at a rather naff looking school disco type event. After a while she winds up sitting at a table with Eric, Eric Ross Gilliatt (“Must Escape (Short)”, “Kill Skills (TV)”), who is a Texan oil-rig worker.

He regales her of tales about his life, his work, what he used to do (a truck driver), whilst Anna nods along, not understanding a single word he says.

Luckily, possibly, for Anna she has a translator in Alina Chornogub, who doesn’t so much translate as just tell each party what she thinks they want to hear and gets it right each time.

When Eric hints at taking Anna out to ‘look under the hood’, the translator tells Anna she should excuse herself and not come back, which she does.

As the night moves on, Anna finds herself alone at the bar, when she turns around she happens to see her daughter Alina, Anastasia Vyazovskaya, dancing with an American man who is attempting to kiss her, when he succeeds, all hell breaks loose.

Anna is slow going for a short film, taking its time to get to the point and I’m not hugely convinced it makes its point that well in all honesty.

Whilst it’s been lovingly shot by writer and director Dekel Berenson (“Ashmina (Short)”, “The Girls Were Doing Nothing (Short)”), the story falls short somewhat. It is funny at times, but I couldn’t help the feeling there was something missing, some grand statement that has gone unsaid.

Anna is under consideration for the Palm d’Or at this years Cannes Film Festival.

Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love

Dekel Berenson

Dekel Berenson

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