UNCLENCHING THE FISTS
Winner of Un Certain Regard at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Kira Kovalenko’s sophomore film details a young woman desperate to escape her controlling father and dull hometown.
After Ada (Milana Aguzarova) survives a traumatic event that leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, her father (Alik Karaev) relocates her family to a declining mining town in the North Ossetia mountains, where he’s able to monitor every aspect of his children’s lives. Ada’s eldest brother, Akim (Soslan Khugaev) flees to work in a neighboring city, abandoning his siblings, who remain under the strict authority of their overprotective father. When Akim returns, Ada is convinced it’s her last opportunity to escape her restrictive and suffocating life. Yet her estranged brother’s return further complicates her home life when his presence reopens emotional wounds and magnifies unresolved family trauma. At Ada’s beseeching, Akim commits to securing her independence from their father, but abandoning her family is more challenging than she imagined, and Ada must weigh her desire for autonomy against the innate love she has for her family. In UNCLENCHING THE FISTS, a young woman’s journey to forge her own path despite her stifling environment provides a stunning and provocative study of trauma and the resilient bonds of family.
CAST: Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov
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