City Zero: Meaning, Summary, Ending Of The Film

The versatility of Shakhnazarov is vividly shown by “Zerograd”, the meaning of the film allegorically demonstrates the situation that has taken possession of the country. The difficult 80s gave some people faith in positive reforms, while others were frightened by the impending catastrophe. The presented images and the absurdity of the situations reflect the reality formed by the “perestroika”.

Summary of the movie City Zero

The Soviet engineer Varakin arrived on a business trip from Moscow to a provincial town. The hero is met by a depressing environment and strange behavior of people.

On a note! Shakhnazarov defined the created picture as a tragicomic farce.

The meaning of the film “City Zero” (1988) is revealed by the events taking place with Varakin in a provincial town:

  • A naked secretary works in the director’s office.
  • The chief engineer committed suicide. “He drowned about 8 months ago,” the secretary calmly declares that the director hears for the first time.
  • In a restaurant, Varakin is served a cake in the form of a guest’s head. The engineer’s refusal to try the dessert causes the cook to commit suicide.

Later, the protagonist recognizes kinship with the cook who shot himself, accepting the name Mahmud imposed by the prosecutor. A man spends the night with a local electrician, whose little son predicts the engineer’s future: the date of death, a tombstone from his daughters. The boy claims that Varakin will forever remain in the city of Zero.

The meaning of the plot

The picture is not designed for a mass audience and is not clear to every viewer. To the question that arises, what is the meaning of the film “City Zero”, the answer lies on the surface. The described events, which seem fantastic, actually occur. The film presents the only hero who understands the unnaturalness of what is happening, but is powerless due to the “blindness” of the environment.

The content of the film gradually reveals the meaning of “City Zero”. In allegorical form, the plot represents the atmosphere of the late eighties. Change and rebuilding attract the destruction of the old, offering an unstable new instead.

On a note! City Zero was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The film covers the topics:

  • absurdity of the system;
  • ridicule of the Soviet people;
  • unstable thoughts about the future.

Initially, Shakhnazarov planned to create a comedy of the absurd, but the final idea of ​​the picture turned out to be much more multifaceted. The image of Varakin makes you pay attention to the absurdity of things.

“City Zero” is a film about the manipulation of human consciousness and attempts to resist manipulation. They are trying to name the main character Mahmud. At first, Varakin violently opposes what happened, but later delivers a farewell speech at his father’s funeral on behalf of Mahmud. The engineer chooses a safe and comfortable existence within established rules.

In the events surrounding the engineer Varakin, who ended up in the city of Zero – a sort of Silent Hill, the meaning of the film is revealed. The absurdity presented in the cinema is encountered every day. The director is sometimes far from his own production. The onslaught of high-ranking citizens makes them admit to imperfect deeds. City Zero is an image of a typical provincial town where people spend their lives.

The meaning of the ending

The film, full of mysteries, is silent about the answers. Each viewer perceives the events taking place on the screen in their own way. The film ends with the attempt of the protagonist to sail away on a boat without oars, but Varakin only succeeds in pushing off the shore.

The meaning of the ending of the film “City Zero” is to demonstrate the hero, who found himself in a frightening, illogical reality with no chance of escape. The reality surrounding Varakin resembles an endless nightmare.

In the mystical and complex perception of City Zero, the meaning of the film lies on the surface. The scenes presented are an ironic example of the reality of most people.

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