How I Ended This Summer

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How I Ended This Summer
How I Ended This Summer.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Alexei Popogrebski
Produced by Roman Borisevich
Written by Alexei Popogrebski
Starring Grigoriy Dobrygin
Sergei Puskepalis
Music by Dmitry Katkhanov
Cinematography Pavel Kostomarov
Edited by Ivan Lebedev
Distributed by Bavaria Film International
Release dates
  • 17 February 2010 (2010-02-17) (Berlinale)
  • 1 April 2010 (2010-04-01) (Russia)
Running time 124 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

How I Ended This Summer (Russian: Как я провёл этим летом, translit. Kak ya provyol etim letom) is a 2010 Russian drama film directed by Alexei Popogrebski. It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Plot[edit]

Young intern Pavel Danilov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) is spending the summer at an isolated meteorological station on an Arctic island with the older, experienced Sergei Gulybin (Sergei Puskepalis). Their job is to collect and report the weather statistics every three hours. Pavel is afraid of the gruff Sergei, who accuses him of being lazy and even smacks him in the head when he becomes frustrated. While Sergei is on an unauthorized fishing trip, Pavel is informed by radio that Sergei's wife and young son have been killed in an accident. Pavel, afraid of Sergei, does not give him the message.[2]

As days go by, Pavel frequently makes up excuses as to why Sergei is unavailable and even temporarily sabotages the radio so Sergei cannot speak to his supervisor. Pavel is told that a ship, the Academic, is headed to the island to pick them up. When Sergei leaves to get more trout, Pavel is told that the Academic is stuck in ice and that a helicopter will instead come to retrieve them before the weather worsens. Pavel, carrying a rifle and flares, heads to the lagoon to meet the helicopter, but the pilot cannot see him due to the heavy fog and flies away. Pavel then notices a polar bear, which begins to chase him. Pavel runs away but eventually trips and falls down a steep embankment into the water.

Pavel wakes up in Sergei's boat. As they disembark, Pavel tries to confess to Sergei that he needs to tell him something but Sergei ignores him. Pavel finally blurts out to Sergei that his family is dead. Sergei turns around and comes toward him, and Pavel, frightened, falls to the ground. Thinking Sergei is going to attack him, Pavel fires at him but misses. He then gets up and runs away while Sergei picks up his gun and shoots at him.

Pavel takes up residence in an old abandoned building. He wakes up to hear Sergei outside and hides, still afraid. Sergei calls to him and says he wants to talk to him. Sergei, who is carrying his rifle, hears Pavel step on something that makes a large cracking sound. Thinking Pavel fired at him, he fires his own rifle. The terrified Pavel runs away.

Pavel lives for some time outside, keeping warm under old tar paper scraps and stealing fish and supplies from the cabin when Sergei is away. He nearly chokes to death on a fishbone and curses Sergei. He huddles by an old isotope beacon to keep warm before realizing he has exposed himself to radiation. He takes fish he has hung up by the isotope beacon and replaces Sergei's stash of fish with the contaminated fish.

One night Sergei sees the disheveled Pavel looking in the cabin window. He signals to Pavel to come inside, and them invites him to sit down and have some fish. He says the Academic made it through the ice after all and will be there in a few days. Pavel says he cannot eat the fish because it's been contaminated. Sergei goes to vomit up some of the fish but returns and says only that they don't have to tell anyone what has happened.

The Academic arrives and Sergei tells Pavel he plans to stay on the island. Pavel threatens to tell what has happened to force Sergei to get medical help. Sergei insists he needs to be there alone and embraces Pavel.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The main location for filming was the Valkarkay polar station on the Chukchi Sea in Arctic Russia.[3]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]