The Search

A woman who works for a non-governmental organization (NGO) forms a special relationship with a young boy in war-torn Chechnya.


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  • ★★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd

    In 1999, Russia invaded Chechnya for the second time. This masterfully made war drama (a surprising change of genres for the director, Oscar winning Michael Hazanavicius) tells parallel stories of a tragedy beset Chechnyan family and a Russian conscript soldier who witnesses and takes part in terrible carnage. The plot is complex and unpredictable...I don't intend to go into it here. But the setting, the incredibly violent and vicious actions of the Russian military against the populace is presented through the eyes of a couple of Western peace activists: a reporter played by Hazanavicius regular Bérénice Bejo, and an humanitarian aid worker played by the always wonderful Annette Benning. But the story belongs to the beset Chechnyan family...especially the adorable nine year old boy who observes his parents being killed and wanders off with his baby brother. The eponymous "search" is about him...and it is heart wrenching. This is an extraordinary film that worked for me on every level.

  • ★★★½ review by The Moviejerk on Letterboxd

    Intermittently moving and powerful, exposing the brutality of war and yet manages to find levity and hope amid the bleakness. While it’s nowhere near as devastating as the great anti-war films with children (e.g. Ivan’s Childhood, Come and See, Au-revoir les enfants), it features a heartbreaking child performance in the form of Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev, whose pair of mournful eyes are enough to convey the trauma he’s suffering and fatalities he has witnessed. The more established actors Bérénice Bejo and Annette Bening both give competent turns, but Bejo has the meatier role, alternating between compassion and ferocity, battling the indifference of the bureaucratic politics above her.

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  • ★★★½ review by Sergejs Timonins on Letterboxd

    Vast and epic in scope, but somwhat bloated, too long and too one-sided (film makes it look like Russian army barbarians were fighting the civilians in Chechnya) story about the 2nd Chechnyan war, told from 3 different perspectives. An 180-degree turn from "The Artist" for Michael Hazanavicius.

  • ★★★★ review by Uberalles on Letterboxd

    dedovshchina and pain

  • ★★★★★ review by Hopefenning on Letterboxd

    Touching. Amazing. It shows what really happens under our eyes

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