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The film, east west is directed by Regis Wargnier and produced by Yves Marmion. Among those that wrote it are Sergei Bodro and Regis Wargnier. Starring also are; People like Sandrine Bonnaire, Catherine, Sandrine and Bohdan. It was first released in the year 1999 and has a running time of two hours. It is set in various countries that include France, Russia, Spain, Bulgaria and Ukraine. It is available in French and Russian languages.
In the movie East/west that is acted to showcase what happened during the Second World War, former émigré that were whites are given soviet citizenship and an amnesty. They are then invited to come back to their home country to help in the restructuring of their country. Most émigrés decide to remain abroad despite this amnesty the others chose to go back to their country that they framed the Holy Russia. One of those that return is known as Alexei and his French wife known as Marie and his son Sergery. This was later discovered that it was Stalin’s’ tactical step to finish them.
As they arrive, the colleagues of Alexei are executed on the spot and others and sent to Gulag. The family of Alexei however manages to escape this fire and is taken to a place known as Kiev. This is after discovery that the young man was a doctor and they had much to gain from his services. He is later taken and paraded as an example to the rest of the émigrés which Alexei is firmly opposed but gives in to save the wife and only son, Serioza.
He is later given an apartment and stars to live in a single room house after being posted to an infirmary of a factory that deals with textiles. There is complete lack of privacy and constant denunciations from their neighbors in this place where they are told to stay. Alexei accepts his situation and conforms to the situation while on the other hand, Marie refuses and brindles and seriously wants to return to France. Alexei however manages to shut down all her efforts to return to France.
Marie however is not satisfied with her condition and looks for any opportunity to inform the French government of her condition. She see an opportunity of this when a French theatre group led by Gabriel comes to Kiev on a tour. She manages to hand Gabrielle a letter and later when she arrives back home; she decides to throw Alexei out of the house because of his submissiveness to Stalin.
Marie seems to find solace in a boy named Sasha aged seventeen years in the neighborhood. The boy is a competitive swimmer and this ability has made him to be out of military service. The boy is however not heartbroken, he still continues to do his practice in swimming through Marie’s concerted efforts. Marie takes the boy to the river so hat he could swim against the river current. They become too close until they share a common goal, that the boy will go back and win in the competition to be selected for the European championship that were to take place in Vienna.. After that, Sasha was to defect to the west, a place where he would be a free man and away from the decrees of Stalin’s government. The boy also wants to have this freedom. Marie does everything possible to ensure that this dream is achieved.
During the competition, Sasha wins the competition in the national race and the NKVD suspects him and is not selected for Vienna. Instead, he is sent to black sea on a training camp that they could remove him from the dangerous influence of Marie. After this, Marie is left lonely and decides to reunite with Alexei.
Disappointed with his all time failing effort, he does not give up. Sasha escapes from his training camp and manages to swim nineteen kilometers until he finds a Turkish freighter. That is not the end of the story, his story gets to almost all the western media and the authorities of Russia are enraged by this (David H & Budd. 2002).
At the heart of all these, Marie is also arrested by the NKVD and after being tortured, she confesses of masterminding the defection of Sasha in order to make CIA plans to be successful. Because of her confession, he is sentenced for a long term in jail in GULAG.
After being thrown to jail, her case does not just end there. Six years later, during the thaw of Khrushchev, Alexei her husband manages to overthrow Marie’s conviction. She is then released and looks traumatized and broken with no hope for anything from this life. She later recovers from this trauma with the help of her husband love and care.
After some year, something like two years, Alexei decides that he may have to do what the wife wants. One day when he accompanying trade mission to the Bulgaria, he puts all the cards on the table. Gabrielle sits waiting in a lobby so that she can be taken to the French embassy. He openly reads his mind out loud and sys that he has waited for over ten years for such an opportunity. Marie is however becomes too emotional and starts to plead with Alexei so that he would come along. She is not willing to leave him behind alone to suffer the lack of freedom under the Russian authorities. To Marie’s surprise, he disappoints her by coming out on her and telling her that he is a soviet citizen and that the embassy would protect her alone.
Then an epilogue comes and state that after an international uproar, Marie and Seriozha became exfiltrated across the Bulgarian-Greek border. Later, Alexei is seen walking while in a moving train and smiles while on his way to Kiev because he becomes aware that his family is safe a free from the adversaries of Stalin’s authorities. Thereafter we realize that Alexei remains in GULAG while working as a doctor in the camp of SakhalinIsland and in the year 1987, he is allowed to reunite with his family in France.
To conclude the essay on this film, we see the family of Alexei going through problems under the military rule of Stalin. To begin with, they are invited back to their country and they come back in hope of living better life. To their surprise they meet a hard life that begins with execution of their fellow countrymen. Later his wife is not satisfied with the living conditions in Russia and looks for any means to get back to Russia. Her feeble attempts are time and again turned down and instead getting the freedom she is longing for, she is thrown to jail for six years after which his husband manages to overthrow the case against her (Joann & Jefferson, 2000).
It is however good to note that, Alexei is a very patient man and knows what he is doing. This ability enables him to survive better compared to his wife who feels denied her freedom of privacy by the government. But in the end the entire family is reunited and they continue their lives as normal in France.