Maria Saakyan’s elegiac, semiautobiographical drama unfolds against the backdrop of the Caucasus wars that plagued the Russian states in the early 1990s. As the scope of the conflict extends itself to one woman’s small village, she is forced to flee, moving to Moscow, and start over from scratch - thus bidding farewell to her hometown and way of life, perhaps indefinitely. The Lighthouse is one of the most striking feature debuts of recent years - an incendiary mix of memoir and war film that is both hypnotic and poetic.
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