The first time I saw this, I was expecting it to be just like Mother and Son. Quiet, long takes, not too many cuts, slow, etc., etc.. When I first saw this, I was perplexed. It has the most cuts I've ever seen in a Sokurov film, and it just seemed strange at the time. When it came out on DVD, I decided to see it again, and it's a great film. It's an entirely different film than Mother and Son, but it's still Sokurov. Many have claimed that there's a homoerotic tension between the father and the son, and Sokurov has dismissed this as the product of "sick European minds". He's right. The reason that people have interpreted this as such is because the father and the son don't look alike, they're only 20 years apart, the father looks young, and they're both in great shape. The opening scene is the father is having a bad dream, and the son awakens him. Then they embrace. The 2 men who play the father and son are in good shape, so I suppose that's why they thought it was homoerotic. It really is kind of silly. The film is the thing, here. It's about a widower father losing his son to adulthood and possible marriage, and being left on his own, which naturally saddens and scares him. The whole film resembles a dream more than anything, and its imagery is bathed in warm, yellowish hues reminding us of the sun. It's really a stunningly beautiful film, haunting and unforgettable.