Anna Milikan Mars is a rapturous joy to watch

Marx, a forgotten Soviet city closed off from the outside world, has been transformed by filmmaker Anna Melikan into Mars, a Felliniesque place caught somewhere between the old Soviet reality and an unknown yet hopeful future.The city is now known for its stuffed animal factory, and the citizens barter with this 'soft currency' as they plan their moves to Moscow and other dreamscapes. The central story is of a boxer who gets off the train at random and finds himself swept up in the schemes and dreams of Mars' wacky denizens.

"This movie is my personal favorite of the fest".

After years of seeing dour films about Russia tinged with irony, this film is simply bursting with life, beauty, and visual ideas. Mars may or may not be about the new hope of Russia despite its lingering problems, but, for me, it is all about the rapturous joy of filmmaking, say film critic Imaginary Boy Cosmo.