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Review: Grim Russian war drama ‘Forgotten by God’ cuts deeply across generations

Natalya Shvets in a scene from the movie “Forgotten by God.” Credit: Aleksey Muradov / Robert Filato
Natalya Shvets in the movie “Forgotten by God.”
(Aleksey Muradov / Robert Filatov / Grigor Ter-Mesropyan)

Somehow even bleaker than its grim title, “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 conflict and its broader impact. Stories skip across decades, illuminating a cycle of violence that touches even those who aren’t in battle.

“Forgotten by God” is set across four different time periods. It begins in southern Russia in 1920, when a soldier returns home to find the mother of his child cheating with his brother. In eastern Belorussia in 1942, a commander leaves his infant son with a man and his granddaughter to take care of, despite their own struggles.

A young woman in the Northern Caucasus in 1996 is a shell of herself after witnessing violence against loved ones. Finally, in Ukraine in 2017, a female soldier discovers those she loved are gone and her home in ruins.

Though some context and details may be lost on those not intimate with Russia and its history, the themes of “Forgotten by God” are clear. War ravages the country, leaving death, poverty and misery behind for soldiers and civilians alike and these wounds can’t be easily erased by the passage of time. They remain as scars for generations to come.

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‘Forgotten by God’

In Russian with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

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Playing: Downtown Independent, Los Angeles

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