Ward No. 6 | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 2009

Chekhov's short story about a depressive doctor who winds up joining his own mental patients gets an offbeat millennial update from veteran Russian director Karen Shakhnazarov (Vanished Empire, The Rider Named Death). The story is transplanted from the 19th century to the present and turned into a mockumentary (as if we needed another one), with the doctor's friends and associates appearing as talking heads to comment on his gradual disintegration. Shakhnazarov tarts up the narrative even more with montage, flashback, and video and audiotapes of the protagonist (Vladimir Ilyin), though all the gimmickry tends to distract from the philosophical questing at the heart of the drama. In Russian with subtitles. 83 min.
Cast: Vladimir Ilyin

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