AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER IN THE FILMS OF NIKITA MIKHALKOV BOXSET BEGINNING 8/24/10
"A psychological war-of-words in the best tradition of Chekhov and Gorky,"(Variety) Without Witness is an unflinchingly intimate and wickedly plotted two-actor tour de force pitting a divorced couple against each other and themselves.
Confining the action to a single highly realistic contemporary Moscow apartment setting, and relentlessly ramping up the stakes through confessional camera asides from both characters, "Nikita Mikhalkov's best film" (Variety) transforms from a sharp theatrical chamber piece into a nail-biting pressure cooker. While watching TV at home alone, a woman (Irina Kupchenko) receives a visit from her now remarried ex-husband (Mikhail Ulyanov). But as banalities about old friends, old times, and their absent teenage son give way to increasingly confrontational verbal barbs, the threadbare camouflage of hospitality and cheap nostalgia masking the couple's raw wounds and harsh agendas is ripped away.
Essaying a script that evokes Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage, and Edward Albee and Harold Pinter's gloves-off relationship dramas, "Irina Kupchenko and Mikhail Ulyanov are more than excellent, they are impeccable." (Village Voice).
"...places (Mikhalkov) at the forefront of contemporary Soviet cinema." - VARIETY