Little Tito has no idea what his dear uncle is doing in the deserts of Los Vegas and neither does his older sister Anita know anything about the land known as America. Tito is happy he has a famous scientist as an uncle and Anita wants nothing more than to experience the glitz and glamour of Vegas. They are forced to move to Vegas when they suddenly become orphaned and move in with their famous scientist uncle who little Tito is named after. Once they get to Vegas they find themselves in the middle of nowhere living with a depressed widowed man who has been lonely ever since his wife Linda passed away. His only comfort now, a strange machine he has built and obsess over named after his lost wife. Uncle Tito has no idea what to do with his smart and mischievous niece and nephews.
The problems start when little Tito wants to talk to his dad, but how can you talk to someone who is buried six feet deep? Its strange but Tito is also looking for a solution to this same exact problem, he wants nothing more than to talk to Linda. Something in his heart is telling him to listen closely to the sound of the universe and that somehow that sound connected to his departed wife, he obsesses over his machine in the hopes of one day being able to talk her.
As much as Tito tries to teach his nephew to look at the world as a scientist, little Tito is happy to see a world full of wonder, isn’t fantasy always more entertaining than reality? It is because of this spirit of fantasy in little Tito’s friend that his uncle’s seemingly failed experiment finally works. Apparently, nothing is more important than being able to see or hear ones loved ones once they are gone or at least believe that you can do this. Loss is still the hardest experience and can put anyone on their knees. During these moments having kids like Tito and Anita around can help someone move on and begin a new life.
Life’s accidents seem to occur when no one is looking out for them. Exactly at the moment when Tentike decided to grab his ancient shotgun, leave his house and seek revenge on the local bigwig who stole his family from him, he has an accident and hits a woman in the middle of nowhere, its unclear what the woman is doing out there all alone They both shouldn’t be there, but an accident becomes the tool of destiny to put these two characters in each others path. We could be convinced that fate put the woman in Tentike’s path so to that no bullet would leave his gun.
Maybe anyone else would have left her on the side of the road and drove off, but Tentike is not like anyone else. He takes the woman home and tends to her injuries. So far the everything in this world seems to make sense, the man had an accident and is doing everything he can to rectify it; however, when we take a closer look at his life we realize that he is in fact not the man we have come to know at all, he is not a caring and considerate man we have seen since the accident. His house speaks of an angry, perhaps neurotic old man, but its clear that with the introduction of this woman he is changing. Almost as if he is falling in love.
The woman doesn’t belong in the house and this becomes more evident in her reaction the first time she sees it. Even in this setting if we pay more attention there are clues but might still change our mind about Tentike. Clues such as the small trays of apples he puts out from time to time. Some of the shots in the film are reminiscent of Cezzane’s painting of Apples. Cezzan and a movie from Kyrgyzstan? The presence of the beautiful golden hair woman in the house is just as improbable but believable.
Dovlatov is similar to the dreams and nightmares of Sergei. The nightmares that its people are real, but no healthy mind accepts such things to happen. . In one of these nightmares, Sergei is dreaming that he is accepted by Brezhnev, and as he grabbed his daughter’s hand, they will go to him, standing near a bench next to the water. The first Brezhnev question from him is whether to send troops to Pakistan or not? And after he talks about not publishing his books and call the name of Ernest Hemingway, the man sitting on the bench and apparently Fidel Castro tells about his love to Hemingway, because he is a straight and honest writer.
To see such a nightmare comes only from a writer and poet like Dovlatov, whose years of youth is wasted in yearning of publishing a book or poetry, and as he can he mocks the situation of Soviet Union; Just like his friend, Joseph Brodsky, who says they are the last generation who can save Russian literature.
Dovlatov is inspired by 8½. Reality and imagination are united, in a land where reality is more similar to imagination, and at times when young poets and young writers have no hope. Once upon a time Prince Myshkin told in the novel “The Idiot” that “beauty will save the world”.