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A haunting, violent tale of a youth lost in an uncaring world, Bullet Collector is the first film from promising director Alexander Vartanov. A visual, moody masterpiece, the drama follows the traumas of a wide-eyed 14-year-old boy. He has a terrible home life with a step-father who can barely stand the sight of him. His school life is even worse as bullies torment and attack him with shocking regularity And his life becomes even more torturous after he is sent to hellish reform school. Prone to day-dreaming about a life where he is loved, fights off his attackers and has a beautiful girlfriend, the reality of an entirely different and terrible life continually shocks his back to reality. Is he just a timid kid destined for abuse or will he gain the strength to fight off his attackers? Recalling the world of Antoine Doinel in Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows, this unsettling, visually brilliant drama updates that classic by giving it a nightmarishly Russian spin.
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My interpretation of this movie is that the boy is a serious schizophrenic who lives in a tragically violent imaginary world. This idea dawned on me slowly. Because we basically experience the movie from inside his head, it doesn't matter what's real and what isn't. He can't tell the difference, why should we? Going in with that attitude makes it much more fun to watch.