How I Ended This Summer

January 28th, 2011


How I Ended This Summer

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A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel...

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 7.1/10 (2,559 voted)

Critic's Score: 74/100

Director: Alexei Popogrebsky

Stars: Grigoriy Dobrygin, Sergey Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich

A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel, a recent college graduate, are spending months in complete isolation on the once strategic research base. Pavel receives an important radio message and is still trying to find the right moment to tell Sergei, when fear, lies and suspicions start poisoning the atmosphere...

Grigoriy Dobrygin - Pavel
Sergey Puskepalis - Sergey
Igor Chernevich - Golos po ratsii - Sofronov (voice)
Artyom Tsukanov - Golos po ratsii - Stas (voice)
Ilya Sobolev - Golos po ratsii - Volodya (voice)

Release Date: 28 January 2011

Filming Locations: Valkarkai Polar Station, Chukotka, Russia

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,968 (USA) (6 February 2011) (1 Screen)

Gross: $8,109 (USA) (13 February 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Shot in exactly three months.

User Review

To tell or not to tell, or How I made one hard decision last summer

Rating: 8/10

"Kak ya provyol etim letom" (Russian title contains intentional misspell-pin and should be read "How I Cheated (somebody) Last Summer", not just this school-like "How I Spent Last Summer", chosen for foreign version) is a Russian psychological drama about two meteorologists, the old, Sergei, and the young, Pavel, who get stuck on an isolated polar station for a regular season work and have to deal with each other ...and the information, that arrives from the "big earth".

Visually and stylistically film is flawless. Cinematography with it's slow-pacing, static long shots and scenic wild nature shots is adorable. Atmosphere, when time seems ticking slower and cold wind awaits for you from another side of the door, is on the good level too. And as a native-speaker, I can say that dialogue-lines are also pretty decent. Polar station as a place is just a cause for examination of human communication (so-called "chemistry") in isolated space. Subject deals with responsibility, instinct of self-preservation, influence of isolated space to human psychics and importance of experience. I don't want to spoil your first-time-watching, so I won't go into plot any further...

Can't name any similarities. Maybe the closest will be: "Breaking the Waves" meets "Gerry" and "Shutter Island" (no delusions here, similarity is geographical) along with Russian "Dikoe Pole" (2008) and maybe even "Kukushka" (2002). Plus some Michael Haneke's style (like from most recently - though black and white - "Das Weisse Band" with it's distant human behavior examination). In my opinion, "Kak ya provyol etim letom" is one of the best Russian movies of the decade (2000-2010) along with Alexei Balabanov's "Gruz 200", "Morfiy" and above-mentioned Alexander Rogozhkin's "Kukushka". And yes, it is way better than Zvyagintsev's pretentious force-fed Tarkovsky-styled issues "Vozvraschenie" & "Izgnanie".

Don't know how soon those of you who don't speak Russian will be available to watch this with subtitles or voice-over...

So, if you're often bored with 2-hour non-action movies - don't bother watching this. Try something more entertaining. But if you're into slow-paced minimalistic psychological dramas, give it a try. You'll be aesthetically rewarded.



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