Lyokha dispels some of his loneliness by taking her son Timur (Timur Bondarenko) on a fishing trip, where he scares him with tall of a local witch Kikimora in a scene which is both funny and tender. The simplicity of his life and the long endless summer days are threatened however, first by a recurring dream of a grey cat of obvious symbolism (or it might just be the cat from his table cloth) and subsequently by the theft of his outboard motor. The latter sends him on a trip to the city and also to suspect that one of the villagers has stolen it. Alienated first by the uncaring attitude of his distant bosses and then by his own suspicions, Lyokha has something like a crisis and finds himself sorely tempted by the vodka or perhaps to leave the village altogether. But the postman genuinely belongs to his world, whether gliding across the lake first thing in the morning to the sound of Eduard Artemyev's score or captured by Aleksander Simonov's beautiful cinematography, standing at the edge of field. With The Postman's White Nights, Konchalovsky offers up an intimate and moving pastoral.
The 71st Venice Film Festival takes place from 27 August to 6 September 2014. For more coverage, follow this link.