Salyut- 7 by Klim Shipenko
This is a very good Russian film that reminds one of other "Space Odysseys"- Apollo 13, Gravity and other dramas that took place in the cosmos, or would take place in an imagined future.
These motion pictures about near catastrophes that happened in the orbit of the Earth, near the moon, or somewhere in between, are very informative, aside from being tense, gripping and dramatic.
For the world knows about " One small step for man, a great leap for mankind" and not so much about problems, failed missions wherein astronauts died, space vehicles crushed and the like.
It is a commercial and maybe an artistic decision to avoid putting on the big screen stories that end up with everybody dying and a scientific collapse of some kind.
The Russians though can do it, they do not care too much about what the world thinks, as long as they are scared, terrified and sure that this country is serious about business, territories, Crimea, Skribal and his daughter- if that is their name.
Exaggeration apart, there is a bias, a subjectivity with which audiences may approach this and any other work of art coming from the Third Rome, especially after what they did to a former spy and his child, attacked with a chemical weapon no less and in a city in Great Britain.
Yesterday, twenty four countries (!), including my own- and I am so proud of that- have made an united front expelling about one hundred and forty Russian diplomats to protest against what is an attack on Britain.
Alas, this is the background for Soyuz 7 and if we are to joke, as things happen on that damn Soviet ship, one may start shouting
Die you mother fucking Soviets
Considering that these awful communists have ruined territories and countries -this one too, alas- and we still have to pay a heavy price in terms of the mentality of the population, their brains washing, the inability to adapt for decades to democracy, mark t forces and capitalism, one may understand this deep rooted prejudice.
Having said that, there are many Russian films, of course the geniuses Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Gogol, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, Bulgakov and so many more.
Burnt by the Sun, Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano, Andrei Rublev, the more recent Loveless aka Nelyubov are just a few of the masterpieces of the Russian cinema.
Leviafan aka Leviathan is one of the best motion pictures ever.
One of the actors in Soyuz 7 is the lawyer from Leviafan and a fantastic artist.
His character is banned from space missions, after he states that he saw something like angels or some angelic light, figures...
But when faced with a crisis, the authorities have no good people to send and they offer him the difficult, next to impossible task of repairing the Soviet space station.
This is not just daunting, extremely difficult, it seems impossible.
Indeed, for a good while, it feels like the two cosmonauts will definitely die, given the Russian melancholy, different from Hollywood in a good sense here take on events, one can give a one chance in a a thousand for the protagonists to survive.
When they get to Soyuz, the conditions are terrifying and they may not even be able to connect with their destination, so out of control is the spinning and difficult the coupling.
Once inside, they are faced with a vessel that has everything inside frozen and like in The Martian, ground control is worried that the two men will die of starvation.
Furthermore, when they fix the freezing problem, they have water all over the walls and the ship, compromising the functioning of the installations.
As if all those wee not enough crisis and overwhelming challenges,mother are left with too little oxygen.
The commander is told from the ground control that he - in the tradition of the captain as the last on board the ship - has to send his comrade on the unit that will take at least one down to earth, seeing as they don't have air to breathe for both.
However, his friend and companion refuses to travel to earth alone, saying that he would not be able to tell his child or his friend's daughter for that matter that he had abandoned his soul mate.
So they have to desperately try to solve an impossible problem, out of the station, with a...hammer.
Will they succeed?
It looks unlikely, but who knows...