Beanpole ★★★½

Beanpole is not the easiest to watch. For the most part, it was very demanding and almost emotionless. It has, however, some of the most indelible images of the year, particularly that shocking moment revealing how bad Iya’s muscle disorder could get. A moment made more disturbing by Balagov’s choice not to actually show anything, leaving me shaken and uneasy, not only because of the act, but mostly because of the realization of how trauma brought about by war could be this physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarring. 
But just when you thought you had Balagov’s frigid and devastating world figured out, the third act revealed the movie’s heart, in rare glimpses of emotions, that despite the pain and horrors, these women are stronger, and learning to depend on each other is a step in the direction of healing, in the hope that someday “he’ll heal us.”