Leviathan

Leviathan

For the past few months a lively topic of discussion in Russia has been the film Leviathan, directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev. The title is taken from the Book of Job, with which the plot has some affinities. This movie won a Golden Globe award for best foreign film and...
An Old Film for a New Year

An Old Film for a New Year

Recently NPR featured a story about a Soviet-era movie that remains popular to this day in Russia, called The Irony of Fate.  Click here to see NPR story. In Soviet Russia, Christmas was of course greatly downplayed, and the New Year assumed many of that holiday’s...
Victory Day

Victory Day

For many Americans May 9 is just another spring day. In Russia, however, one would have to be comatose not to pick up that this date marks the anniversary of the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany. World War Two will not be soon forgotten here. Much of it was fought on...
Fire!

Fire!

A week ago there was a fire in my apartment building, on the eighth story. There was a lot of smoke. The fire engines and ambulance came. I wasn’t home at the time, but heard about it from the neighbors later. In piecing together the details from various sources, I...
Some Non-Cross-Cultural Humor

Some Non-Cross-Cultural Humor

Summer’s over, and so it’s time for me to get back to blog-posting. Let’s ease into it gently, shall we? Instead of discussing some ultra-serious topic, I’ve chosen humor. That has to be easy and fun, right? Well, not always so easy. When I first came to Russia, I...
Which Bus Is This?

Which Bus Is This?

Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly happen again, the other day I heard yet another person, a minute or so after boarding, ask, “Which bus is this?” I’ve heard this now too many times to count. Each time I, a highly organized and efficient American who plans...