I watched this Russian father-son film in conjunction with the dark, Russian film of a similar theme entitled The Return. Both explore the father-son relationship, the latter one through the lens of patricide, this one through the tender but painful bonds of a very deep love. The two live together in an apartment after the death of the mother, and the film tracks how they both grow into their separate identities while maintaining an intense bond. Should the father leave his son, move to another city for a job, and take a new wife? Should the son follow his father's career path in the military? Does not the son's girlfriend take him away from the father? On two separate occasions in this film we hear the ambiguous and distinctly Christian notion, “A father who loves his son crucifies him. A son who loves his father sacrifices himself for him.” This is the second film in a trilogy by director Alexander Sokurov that began with Mother and Son (1997). Sokurov attributed any homoerotic interpretations of this film to "sick European minds." In Russian with English subtitles.