Forgotten by God (2017)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Aleksey Muradov
Run Time
1 hour and 50 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★★5 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night but find no rest.

Psalm 22:1-2
A grieving Russian-Ukrainian mother cries on the graves of her murdered children. (c) ITN Distribution

Russian director Aleksey Muradov’s film lives up to its title. It ranges over 100 years of bloody warfare in Russia, beginning with the Russian civil war. Co- written with Dmitriy Lanchihin, it’s common theme is the horrible cost, each segment bound together by a baby and the fate of the woman connected with the infant.

Forgotten by God examines the horrors of war at close range. Directed by Aleksey Muradov and written by Dmitriy Lanchihin, this Russian drama is at once poetic and painfully realistic as it explores a century of war and its broader impact on the innocent. Stories jump the decades, revealing the cycle of violence that touches even those who aren’t in battle. Forgotten by God is set across four different time periods:

  1. “Brother 1920 Southern Russia.” A soldier returns to his home on the shores of a sea. He has fought in the Russian Civil War, and now finds the mother of his child engaged in sex with his crippled brother. The mayhem created by his reaction may be far from the field of battle, but the resultant violence is just as tragic.
  2. “Son 1942 Eastern Belorussia.” A soldier fighting the Nazis leaves his baby son in the care of an old man and his granddaughter. The girl and her grandfather learn how to nurture the infant, but not how to react to the violent partisans who show up.
  3. “Bride 1996 Northern Caucusus.” A deserter during First Chechen War in hiding spies a woman in charge of a railroad crossing gate. She walks as if in a trance, traumatized by the death of her husband. He finds an abandoned baby which he believes she can help provide care, but the story does not unfold as we expect or hope.
  4. “Mother Southeast of Ukraine 2017.” A female soldier walking to her home finds that her children have been killed and her home reduced to ruins. A group of soldiers gathering the bodies of the dead discover that even among is deceased owners a left-behind camera can be deadly.
  5. “Brothers back to 1920 South of Russia.” The film returns to the first scenario, but with a somewhat different conclusion. We see a black robed figure walking along the surf, passing by without stopping (this time).

Aleksey Muradov merely records the tragic events. He does not moralize or comment on them. He does not need to to get his point across that in war the lives of civilians are at risk as much as those of combatants. Each of the lives chronicled in the film seem to have been forgotten by God.

This film was made five years ago a little after Putin’s first invasion of the Ukraine. I wonder if this influenced him to create this indictment of war, though in the fourth segment the mother returning is a Russian-Ukrainian, so those who murdered her children were what we would consider loyalist Ukrainians. But does this matter? I wonder too where this filmmaker stands today on the matter of Putin’s “military exercise”?

This review will be in the November issue of  VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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