SUMMARY: A young man is torn between his love for two very different women.
WHY IT’S HERE: Based on the 1927 novel ‘A Love Story’ by Ivan Shmelyov, Aleksandr Petrov’s ‘My Love’ is the director’s striking follow-up to his Oscar winning ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. Like that film, ‘My Love’ is painted on glass and tells a realistic, emotionally complex story, although some critics dismissed it as trite sentimentalism. Though few could argue against the fact that Petrov’s animation was astoundingly beautiful, many of his contemporaries such as Yuri Norshteyn found his latest work coldly clinical and longed for more than bland visual perfectionism. It is true to say that ‘My Love’ is more swooningly romantic than ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and Hemingway’s source material seemed like a better fit for Petrov’s style than Shmelyov’s does, but ‘My Love’ is still an engrossing work which manages to encapsulate the naïve confusions of first love and the conflicts between love and sexual desire. Petrov combines his realism with epic fantasy visions and, while sentimentality sometimes takes hold, the film never gives in to it and uses it mainly to reflect the main character’s youthful impetuousness. Stunningly beautiful to look at and with a familiar but satisfying story, ‘My Love’ is another great work from Petrov.