Morphia is based on a script by Sergei Bodrov jr. - a cult figure for Russian youth and famous as an excellent actor, director and writer, who tragically passed away a few years ago. He adapted Michail Bulgakov's autobiographical stories, A Country Doctor's Notebook<...>.
In late autumn of 1917, a young doctor arrives in the Russian countryside in the middle of nowhere. Doctor Polyakov (Leonid Bichevin) comes here from the capital during a very turbulent period (the 1917 revolution). The very first night, he is submitted to the first real test of his professionalism but fails to save a man's life. To get over this first real-life experience and to protect his own health, the doctor prescribes himself a dose of morphine. More soon follow, as he performs his first amputation, trachometry etc. What was meant as first-aid relief for difficult situations soon becomes an addiction, and the pharmacy assistant, his lover and even a companion-in-crime (Ingeborga Dapkunaite) help him all along the way.
As in Cargo 200, the decay of the body, the personality, social relations and the country are motifs running through the story. The re-creation of the past, and the film's unforgettable art direction, together with its division into chapters, reminds us of Of Freaks and Men and make the film as a whole yet another masterpiece by one of Russia's most important contemporary film makers (LC)
Source : www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com, 2009