Core of the World (2018) **** Russian Film Week 2018
Dir: Natalia Meshchaninova | Drama | Russia, Lithuania | 123′
Best known for her debut The Hope Factory, Natalia Meshchaninova’s award-winning sophomore feature is an acutely observed and thoughtfully performed story of emotional disorder that unfolds in a remote dog-breeding facility in Russia.
Writing again with Boris Khlebnikov (they co-scripted Arrhythmia) and her real life partner Stepan Devonin, who also plays Egor, this latest drama combines tenderness, regret and yearning in a troubled vet who finds his animals easier to live with than his co-workers. Egor breeds special hunting dogs (Alabais, also known as Central Asian Shepherd dogs) using domesticated foxes in their training. He is empathetic rather than sentimental towards the animals in his care.