In 1994, Sokurov accompanied Russian troops assigned to a frontier military post at the Tajikistan/Afghanistan border to film their experiences. Though Russia had pulled out of its war with Afghanistan in 1989, a shadowy enemy still dogs the Russian troops along the border. While unnamed tribal forces occasionally engage the troops in skirmishes, Sokurov’s haunting documentary actually chronicles the down time between activity. He effectively captures what it is like to be there as a Russian soldier–the isolation, the mood of futility that afflicts the troops, and the harsh environment. Poetic and moody, this one-of-a-kind documentary unfolds in five parts.
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