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The virtues of simple storytelling exude in this period tale set in the rugged northeast and based upon Nikolai Leskov's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District.

Thrust into a phoney marriage as part of a meagre land deal, Katherine is housebound and alone. When her uncaring husband and wretched father-in-law both depart on business, she takes the opportunity to modernise etiquette and fraternise with the household staff, with severe consequences.

A beautifully understated film on all fronts, and highly recommended.