Anna Image


By Alan Ng | February 27, 2024

Dekel Berenson’s short film, Anna, takes on a bit of poignancy in light of current circumstances. Filmed in 2019, our story takes place in a war-torn Eastern Ukraine. Anna (Svetlana Barandich) is a portly single mother working day-to-day at a beef processing plant. A radio ad encourages women to attend a regular “party” to host a tour bus of lonely American men looking for Eastern European wives.

The event organizer (Liana Khobelia) has doubts about Anna and her appearance but gives her a shot anyway. All Anna needs to do is mingle, get to know the men (who only speak English), and hopefully get a phone number. Considering the humiliation factor, Anna seems to do OK…that is, until her daughter Alina (Anastasia Vyazovskaya) arrives, ready to mingle.

“…mingle, get to know the men (who only speak English), and hopefully get a phone number.”

Anna employs the “Show. Don’t Tell.” idea, with the narrative being the only dialogue. Svetlana Barandich’s understated performance brings the story to life. The plot is about a woman desperate for a change in her mundane and monotonous life. Years of living this way have worn her down, and she feels like she is just going through the motions.

Ultimately, Anna tells a story of unfulfilled hope, which is conveyed through Barandich’s facial expressions and body language. She doesn’t need to overact for the audience to understand the point, and the director, Berenson, tells Anna’s story brilliantly.

Anna (2019)

Directed and Written: Dekel Berenson

Starring: Svetlana Barandich, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Anna Image

"…doesn't need to overact for the audience to understand..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon