THE LAND OF THE DEAF is a 1998 Russian movie that is just now getting playdates in the rest of the world, although it did win the New Director’s Showcase Award at the 1998 Seattle Film Festival. The movie is a slow-moving, rambling character study of the relationship between two young women in Moscow. One of the women, Jaja (pronounced YaYa), is deaf, while the other, Rita, has a boyfriend. Rita wants to get lots of money to pay off her boyfriend’s gambling debts. Jaja gets both of the women involved with a group of deaf gangsters, who hire Rita to help them during a drug sale. Jaja also develops lesbian feelings for Rita and becomes jealous of Rita’s boyfriend.
Although it gives some insight into the plight of deaf people and young women in Moscow and is well-photographed and well-acted, THE LAND OF THE DEAF has a strong feminist worldview and an ending that is clearly anti-male. Jaja’s immoral lesbian feelings are not consummated sexually in any way on screen, but the movie’s ending implies that they eventually will be. THE LAND OF THE DEAF also includes brief upper female nudity and has the two women turning to prostitution at one point to get money. All of this makes the movie completely unacceptable morally and spiritually.
Strong feminist worldview with mild lesbian elements & mild moral elements mostly about the exploitation of women in Moscow; 3 obscenities & one mild profanity; moderate violence including two shootouts, threats of violence & after-effects of mild beating shown; implied fornication between girl & her boyfriend, brief depicted but obscured fornication between boyfriend & other woman, implied sex with prostitutes, & deaf woman falls in love with a young woman whom she takes under her wing; brief upper female nudity, brief rear & upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking & scene with gangsters selling cocaine; and, gambling, lying & an aimless lifestyle that is not rebuked.