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BBFC RatingPamfir

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GenreCrime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s)Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
Writer(s)Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
CountryUkraine, France, Poland, Chile, Luxembourg
Running Time1HR 42MINS
Extra InfoEnglish Subtitles
SeasonMain Programme

Pamfir is a barnstorming debut from Ukrainian filmmaker Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk with a powerhouse performance from Oleksandr Yatsentyuk as the eponymous hero.

When reformed smuggler Pamfir returns home to his village on the Ukrainian border after working abroad for several years, he’s determined to earn an honest living and set a good example for his teenage son Nazar.

But in a town where corruption runs deep and crime and religion are inextricably linked, his plan is quickly thwarted when Nazar sets fire to the local church in a misguided effort to keep his father at home. To pay for the damage, Pamfir must take on one last job for a crime syndicate operating a risky smuggling venture in a place where all the rules have changed.

Part drama, part thriller, part noir-inflected fairytale, Pamfir is violent, raw and bloody, but also a tender portrait of a family man trying to raise his son well despite his own shady past. Shot in long takes and set amid forests swirling with mist in the run up to the traditional ‘Malanka’ carnival — a wild pagan festival featuring straw costumes, wooden masks and centuries-old rites and traditions — this is a propulsive, genre-defying debut exploring the thin line between good and evil and fate vs free will in our complex modern world.

"From the ruins of Ukraine – and the expectation that all films made there must now somehow deal with the conflict – blazes the brightest of cinematic talents with Dmytro Sukholytkyy" Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International

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