A film by Andrei Nekrasov


I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams… Shakespeare, Hamlet

Alex, a young citizen of post-communist, post-post-modern, "post-everything" Russia is seeing a dream.
There is his mother… their country house…
autumnal forest… the streets and canals of his native St. Petersburg…
Then he is running somewhere, to some meeting, in some research laboratory, to work on some project, something to do with dreams, - digitising, downloading and watching them on a monitor… Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming…

What is Alex up to, apart from dreaming?
He goes about town, philosophises, and picks up women. He is a self-styled neo-nietzschean amoralist, aesthete and cynic… He is also an adventurer. He nearly escapes the vengeance of the businessman husband of the woman he's had sex with - only to be nearly shot by a hit-man hired to kill the businessman.

Hit-man… or is it a man? When he comes to dispose of Alex, an inadvertent witness of a contract murder, the killer turns out to be a she. Something in Alex prevents her from pulling the trigger - the woman's sudden fit of despair saves Alex's life.
Lubov - the woman - is a wild loner but the
unhappy childhood, years of exposure to poverty and violence, excessively harsh prison sentences haven't broken a human in her. She had, in fact, done one "job", slaying a Mafia-connected businessman (the husband of Alex's lover). Yet that experience - together with witnessing terrible death and devastation as a result of the explosions unreliably blamed on the Chechen rebels by the cynical government who had all to gain from it - left her deeply traumatised and ready to change.

First curious, then moved, Alex wakes up a woman in Lubov. The men she had known before him were convicts, policemen or rapists. She falls in love. He too is fond of her. He feels, strangely, influenced by Lubov's straightforwardness and honesty; a "professional dreamer" Alex learns something about real life through Lubov and becomes less cynical.
But the moments of happiness are brief. Alex has to get on with his life. His project has born fruit: somebody bit his digital bait and invited him to come to the West.

It's a woman and it's another affair - this time in a rich country, trendy bars, big loft apartment… Even Alex's "dream-art" seems to be appreciated here…

Everything seems to go Alex's way, were it not for… the nightmares which wouldn't let go of him: his poor country, his feeling of guilt, Lubov, to whom he promised to come back...

Once, when he is with Helen, in bed, a black shadow comes over… Just like at the beginning, in the house of that Russian businessman sentenced to death by the Mafia… Alex thought to have left all those nightmares behind!

Why is it looking so real then?