Film Review: ENTERRO – Task X

Film Review: ENTERRO – Task X

By ABBIE BERNSTEIN

Published: September 2, 2022 / 5:42 PM

BURIAL movie poster |  ©2022 IFC Midnight

BURIAL movie poster | ©2022 IFC Midnight

Evaluation: not rated
Stars: Charlotte Vega, Tom Felton, Harriet Ward, Barry Ward, Dan Renton Skinner, Bill Milner, Niall Murphy, Kristo Viiding, Tambet Tuisk, Ester Kuntu, David Alexander
Writer: Ben Parker
Director: Ben Parker
Distributor: IFC midnight
Release date of: September 2, 2022

BURIAL is a solid, WWII-focused thriller. Despite its distribution by IFC Midnight, BURIAL It’s not a horror movie – at least, no more than any other war movie – but that shouldn’t discourage viewers in search of an immersive experience.

BURIAL is primarily set at the end of World War II in 1945. However, it opens in London, England on Christmas Day 1991. Anna Marshall (Harriet Walter), born Brana Vasilyeva, watches the TV news when it is announced that the Soviet Union has dissolved and Mikhail Gorbachev is stepping down.

Anna receives an unexpected visitor, and we see that she is formidable despite her anger. Young Brana (Charlotte Vega) is even more formidable. We meet her in the extended flashback that forms most of the movie.

Young Brana is an officer in the Soviet army. While the war against the Nazis is officially over, Brana’s unit has been tasked with secretly transporting a coffin containing significant remains from Berlin to Moscow. The contents are so important that the coffin must be buried every time the unit stops for the night.

There are German special forces, who call themselves “werewolves”, in the forest. Werewolves mark their weapons with runes and wear animal skins on their heads. They want the coffin.

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The more we learn about the thinking on both sides behind this mission, the more timely it seems in terms of current parallels. Writer/director Ben Parker conveys the terror of death that can come out of nowhere, with stealthy assassins and long-range snipers.

At the same time, we sympathize with the physical effort of getting the coffin through the trees. We also feel the despair of Brana and her countrymen. They are not especially loyal to Stalin and do not have a sense of Russian superiority. On the other hand, they have seen the concentration camps, and most of them feel the need to prevent the resurgence of the Third Reich.

BURIAL it is very atmospheric with a dark fairytale forest and old secluded buildings. We are destined to be in rural Poland; the actual locations are in Estonia. There is nothing to shake our sense of the period or the stakes.

There are no major plot twists with the characters. They just get deeper as we get to know them better. Vega gives a strong performance, showing us a woman who feels understandable fear and outrage, but whose sense of commitment always prevails. Walter is excellent as the eldest Anna. Other notable cast members include Tom Felton as a Polish civilian and Barry Ward as one of Brana’s colleagues who is skilled with a hammer (among other things).

BURIAL there are some larger notions about advertising that are worth thinking about. However, its virtue lies mainly in its immediacy. We are caught in the moment-to-moment struggle for survival and find genuine suspense in the question of how it will all work out.

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Article: Film Review: ENTERRO

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