In 1996 two Russians left Vladivostok in a home-made boat for an extended island-hopping Pacific adventure. In November of 1999, they heard about the America's Cup and decided to head for New Zealand.
Their unlikely adventure caught the attention of Russian film fan and screenwriter, Stephen Sinclair, who gradually developed a script that, as he stated, "sought to create an eccentric comedy drama, which is artistically engaging and accessible; thought-provoking and entertaining". He succeeded.
Sinclair developed a Russian filmmaker, Misha, who feels he is no longer appreciated in post-soviet Russia and has decided that he can pursue his career in New Zealand.
With meagre funds and a less-than-enthusiastic wife, Nadia, they arrive to find that New Zealanders apparently are no more appreciative of his concept of cinema art than his fellow Russians. Misha refuses to accept this, while Nadia tries to get him to face the realities of basic living.
Nadia finds work as an exotic dancer, which unfortunately leads to stripping which leads to Misha becoming unglued, but he still will not alter his artistic beliefs and efforts which, ironically, also involve nudity but in outdoor natural settings.
As Misha becomes more and more irratic and obsessed, Nadia leaves, moving to an apartment offered by her thugish employer. This is the tipping point for Misha and things turn dark - for both of them.
His sympathetic landlady, Roseanne, saves Misha in more than one way and gradually by spending time with her and her two children, he begins to see life differently. Misha goes from believing - "To trust in unknown is to trust in Life", to feeling that - "It is better to be good man, than great artist".
I will admit that this is a much better film than I expected. The writing is very good, the production values are high, the photography and soundtrack are excellent and the acting is definately above average. Nearly half of the film is spoken in Russian, with English subtitles provided, and the only significant complaint I can offer is that the film is too short. I felt that some ideas should have been given greater time for clarification. As for the ending - I'll leave that for you to figure out.
I hope that this example of what the Sinclair/DiFiore team can produce, on a low budget, means that we have more such gems in our future. Do yourself a favour and see this unique effort.