Svetlana Geier is an editor and translates Russian language books into German. We meet her in her 80s when she’s doing Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s five major novels. They’re also called elephants.
Thus the title.
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Geier lived in the Ukraine when Germany invaded in World War II. Her family was eventually persecuted by Joseph Stalin and fled to Germany. Much of the film deals with her talk about language and debates on words and definition. Unless you’re deep into the nuances of language, watching grass grow is more interesting.
Part way through, she takes a trip to her homeland, and along the way, talks about her father’s imprisonment by Stalin, her youth, involvement with the Nazis and her life as a child. It’s fascinating and much more interesting.
Unfortunately, it is only about half the movie.
It plays at 7:30 p.m. April 29 in Richland. Cost is $4 for adults and $2 for kids, or $14 for all seven films. Admission is free for Washington State University Tri-Cities students. Tickets are available at the door. Non-English films are subtitled.
The Woman with the 5 Elephants
Director: Vadim Jendreyko
Stars: Svetlana Geier
Not rated. Probably PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at 7:30 p.m. April 29 at the Battelle Auditorium in Richland.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.