Review: Stop-Zemlia (2021)


Release Date: January 20, 2022

Run Time: 2 hours & 2 minutes

Reviewed By: Adam

Hanging out with friends, smoking too much, spinning bottles and kissing, making mistakes, playing, refusing to accept, dreaming with open eyes – life as a teenager can be overwhelmingly beautiful and difficult at the same time. Introverted high school girl Masha (Maria Fedorchenko) sees herself as an outsider unless she’s hanging out with her two best friends, Yana (Yana Isaienko) and Senia (Arsenii Markov), who share her non-conformist status. While trying to navigate through her last year of school, Masha falls in love in a way that forces her out of her comfort zone. In her debut, the Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai composes a deeply emotional and multi-layered portrait of a generation whilst seamlessly flowing between the fictional and the documental.

A “way too beautiful” coming of age film that toes the line between fictional and documental. I found myself mesmerized by this story. Which is surprising because most times these movies kind of bore me. Especially one that’s two plus hours long. Sometimes when movies are that long, it feels more like a chore to watch, rather than being enjoyable. However, that wasn’t the case for Stop-Zemlia. It was over before I knew it and I found myself not wanting it to end.

What’s even more impressive about Stop-Zemlia, is I believe this was most, if not all of the actors’ first major roles. Incredible work all the way around.

Stop-Zemlia will get it’s theatrical debut in Los Angeles on January 21, 2022 and will be available on demand the same day. If you get the chance and don’t mind foreign films/subtitles, this one is worth the watch.

W2B Rating: 8.25 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

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