'Something Better to Come' is a brilliant and masterful documentary


Rating: ★★★★★

"Something Better to Come," is a tour de force documentary film that explores the lives of the homeless as they try to survive living day to day on the largest landfill in Europe called Svalka. This large and illusive trash pile is located only 13 miles from the Kremlin and Red Square in Russia. Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Hanna Polak focuses her story on one girl, named Yula. Polak found Yula living among the rubble with her alcoholic mother at the young age of ten years old.

The film continues to chronicle the live of Yula for 14 years. It's a real life coming to age story as never seen before. Yula grows up way too young, smoking cigarettes and drinking hard liquor - while living on an ever changing landscape of trash, death and despair. Her breaking point happens when she is 16 year old and pregnant. Her only relative with housing is an abusive grandfather, whom refuses to shelter Yula once the baby is born. Her only way out is to leave her baby girl at the hospital and return reluctantly to Svalka.

By the age of 18, Yula finds a job at the dump, which is her first step towards making her dreams come true - to live a normal life.

"Something Better to Come," takes place right after Putin comes to power in Russia. Svalka is supposed to be a forbidden zone, but it is obvious that it is much harder to leave Svalka than to enter it.

The horrors of homelessness Svalka may not resemble the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles, but the day to day life without shelter could not be more alarming. People living Svalka risk rape, disease and early mortality. Sometimes, residents are killed as the workers at the dump add more to the landfill. The workers, so use to this, shrug it off as a hazard of the work they do. No one stops to help, no one finds the body and definitely no prayers are said.

The worst horror on Svalka is the rampant lack of hope. It really is the last stop to death for most that live on Svalka and the residents know it.

"Something Better to Come," illustrates that among such dispair is glimmer of hope among the hopelessness and in an unique way is a wonderful example that almost anything is possible with will and determination.

"Something Better to Come," may be considered one of the best documentaries of 2015, but I consider it to be one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.

"Something Better to Come," is not rated and 98 minutes.


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