This strange and lovely film follows four members of a youth brass band in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Roman, Polina, Nikita, and Nikita play American tunes in a post-Soviet landscape, practicing their craft with tenacity and enthusiasm. With a profound delight in the details of daily life and a smart and subtle sense of humor, this film skillfully handles the offbeat with a light touch. True to form, the pedagogical story is complete with an elderly music teacher, Semyon Nikolayevich Ryvkin, who is both crotchety and beloved. It also includes unexpected moments of real magic and wonder, not just in the music but also in family life, travel, kites, and a sophisticated yet childlike curiosity about everything. Our world might be strange, but it can indeed be lovely, especially when revealed in a film as sweet and gentle as this one.
Tom Whiteside, “Full Frame” Documentary Film Festival, USA