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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Beanpole

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video Film & TV

In his second feature, the Russian director Kantemir Balagov examines a state of being that is seldom a subject: the calm after the storm. Set in the autumn of 1945, in postwar Leningrad, the ethereally tall nurse Iya, nicknamed “Beanpole,” is still reeling from the profound psychological effects of the years-long Siege of Leningrad. She is scarred, as is her city. Beanpole navigates poverty, food rationing, and tough streets with Masha, a woman with whom she’s bonded. Though the show is brightened by small, healing moments, the pervasive PTSD is as fresh as the bandages Beanpole uses to wrap wounds at the military hospital. —E.C.

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