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How I Ended This Summer

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. Sergei, a gruff professional in his fifties, takes his job very seriously. His new partner, bright eyed college grad Pavel, retreats to his MP3 player and video games to avoid Sergei's imposing presence. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei from HQ. Intimidated, Pavel can't bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea.


Majestic drama... a terrific exploration of human fragility... Popogrebsky is shaping up into one of Russias most talented, distinctive and potentially exportable directors! --Leslie Felperin, Variety

Tarkovsky at the polar sea! --Berliner Zeitung

4/4 stars! Rich in resonance, the story can be read partly as a brutal coming-of-age story or as a King Lear-type epic of madness and the elements. But the film also works as a nail-biting yarn, a tale of extraordinary endurance! --Jonathan Romney, Screen International

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis
  • Directors: Alexei Popogrebsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,379 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This festival hit (Best Actor Award at Berlin Film Festival and Best Film at London Film Festival) from Alexei Popogrebsky, one of the most talented directors in contemporary Russian cinema, follows two men working at the distant and isolated meteorological station in the midst of chillingly beautiful Arctic Circle.

Sergei (Sergei Puskepalis, star of Popogrebsky's earlier film "Simple Things") is an experienced professional, grim as the Arctic mountains around him, but thoroughly dedicated to his work. Younger meteorologist Pavel (Grigory Dobrygin) joins him at the station for a few months, equipped with video games, MP3 player and IT skills. Sergei is domineering and tough, treating Pavel more like a military in training, than a colleague.

One day in Sergei's absence Pavel receives dreadful news from the base station that would change the course of their lives and put to the test the very essence of humanity.

A truthful, clever deconstruction of human's behavior, consciousness and kindness versus weakness and cowardice.

The DVD comes with a terrific short film from Bosnia, First Day of Peace, a heart-breaking expose of the absurd, senseless horror of war.
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Format: DVD
Let me start off by saying that I have become a huge fan of the Film Movement library of foreign and indie movie releases, which Film Movement issues monthly. I have rarely been disappointment by their selection, and wasn't by this one.

"How I Ended This Summer" (130 min.; originally released in 2010) is an excellent psychological drama, Russian style. The story's premise seems simple enought. Two men, Sergei in a senior and Pavel in a junior position, work at an isolated meteorological station on an Arctic island. While Sergei is on an unauthorized fishing trip, Pavel is informed that Sergei's family has been in an accident. Pavel is supposed to tell this to Sergei, but he does not. Things evolve from there, and I'm not going say much more about the story, but hang on to your seat for the last hour or so of the movie, just fantastic. Aside of the story line, major kudos for the photography of this film, which is just outstanding, bringing the isolation of the Artic beautifully. Completely aside, some of the movie's tone and texture reminded me of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 movie "The Shining".

In all, I loved this movie, and it attests to the great movies that come out of Russia on occasion. I will immediately add that this movie isn't for everyone. The first hour of the movie moves at snail's pace, MILES away from your standard Hollywood mainstream fare. If that doesn't scare you away, by all means, check this movie out, you won't be disappointed.
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Format: DVD
(special thanks to Film Movement for providing me with a screener!)

Ah, Russia. Land of vodka, cold weather, dour poets, cold weather, beautiful women who turn into withered peasants seemingly overnight an very freaking cold weather. You ever wonder why they sold Alaska to us? Because who needed even more cold land?
This latest release from Film Movement takes place on a remote island in the far North Eastern part of Russia. The island is home to a small weather monitoring station maned long-term by Sergei and short-term by Pasha. Sergei is a man in his fifties who seems to be made of rock and Pasha looks like your basic graduate student living on the tundra to accumulate life experience. That they are not a great match is something of a given.

One day Sergei receives word his wife and young son are flying to a nearby area to meet him. He's cheerful after this news and decides to go out fishing for a day. While he's gone, Pasha receives unhappy news that comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen a movie before. This news would be devastating to Sergei, so Pasha tries to hide it, first out of an effort to spare the man's feelings, and then out of simple fear. Needless to say, he's not able to keep this news secret forever and soon things take an unpleasant turn...

This was a very good movie. I've not seen much Russian cinema, basically only this and Russian Ark, but I really liked it. The director did a very good job of showing the coldness, isolation and uncertainty on an island where at any minute you can be eaten by a polar bear or freeze or starve.

I do feel that the director could have trimmed 10 - 15 minutes of shots from the film and tightened it up considerably.
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Format: DVD
How I Ended This Summer, a Russian movie from 2010, exists in a world of its own. Two men, alone for months, track weather data at an isolated Russian research station at the edge of the Arctic Ocean. There is nothing to do but their duties, carried out in near freezing weather. Everyday one or the other of the men must leave the shabby cabin built a generation or two ago to trudge out into the cold and snow to record data and measure radiation from a once strategic and now abandoned nuclear generator. The director, Alexei Popogrebsky, takes us on an unsettling journey, with little dialogue, involving these two men. The movie starts with a premise of adventure, moves into paranoia territory and winds up as a psychological thriller - all complete with beautiful, barren, windswept scenery, icy weather and wind, and set in one of the worst places imaginable to spend a summer.

Sergei Gulybin (played by Sergei Puskepalis) is big, silent and experienced. He's served at this station before. He has a wife and child he rarely sees. He's in his late forties or early fifties and has little respect or patience for Pavel Danilov (Grigory Dobrygin), just out of college. Here's old Russia, stolid, doing a job without questioning its worth, aware of all the others who spend their lives doing the same job because once the job had value. And new Russia, a bit sloppy, bored, uneasy with old Russia, not quite knowing where he stands.

Into this world of unremitting drabness and cold, where all communication with the outside world is by static-filled two way radio. Pavel receives a message to deliver to Sergei, who has left the station to fish for arctic trout. The message involves Sergei's wife and child, and Pavel cannot bring himself to deliver it.
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