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4,642 Ratings

Crystal Swan

Khrustal | Хрусталь

Directed by Darya Zhuk
Belarus, United States, 2018


In 1990s Belarus, young Evelina dreams of moving to Chicago where she can pursue her passion for house music. However, obtaining a US visa proves difficult and, determined to flee the country, she takes the risk of buying a letter of employment from the black market.

Our take

The exuberant and stylish debut from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk cares little for 90s nostalgia, and instead is suffused with vivid sympathy, wry humor, and a heartfelt touch. Equal praise is due Alina Nasibullina, who fully embodies a young woman’s desire to change her life. A winning film.

Crystal Swan Directed by Darya Zhuk

Critics reviews

Crystal Swan is rich in analogical pleasures, which are rooted in the film’s narrative premise and rife with metaphorical possibilities.
May 20, 2020
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Zhuk’s film may be set in 1996, but the tension it outlines between young Eastern Europeans yearning for a new life and an older, more staid generation bewildered by the youth exodus still feels thoroughly of the moment.
July 01, 2018
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By circling back to its beginning, Crystal Swan treats all the generational resistance and benumbed cynicism with humor and astute consideration.
May 25, 2010
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