Toronto Film Review: ‘Atlantis’

“It took you 10 years to cleanse this region of Soviet propaganda and myths,” says one character to another in “Atlantis,” going on to suggest that the devastation now left behind may never be “cleansed” at all.

A strikingly bleak vision of a near future in which Ukraine has won its war with Russia but been left in ruins, this almost abstract drama by multi-hyphenate Valentyn Vasyanovych nabbed the top prize in Venice’s Horizons section.Its cryptic, rigorously minimalist progress will test the patience of many viewers and present a challenge for commercial placements.

Still, this is — not just the Ukraine’s, as this largely depoliticized statement is one of universal relevance.The only direct we glimpse we get of the war is a chilling opening infrared view of a man being clubbed, then dumped into the grave he’s just been forced to dig.

Like much of “Atlantis,” this is a sequence sans backstory,

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