REVIEW: Mi ne mozhem zhit bez kosmosa [We Can’t Live Without Cosmos] [2015]

Score: 8/10 | ★ ★ ★

Rating: NR | Runtime: 16 minutes | Release Date: 2015 (Russia)
Studio: Punkrobot Studio
Director(s): Konstantin Bronzit
Writer(s): Konstantin Bronzit

The title may be Mi ne mozhem zhit bez kosmosa [We Can’t Live Without Cosmos], but the thing Konstantin Bronzit shows we really can’t live without is love. I don’t mean romantic love either; I mean the bond between two human beings whether by blood or not. A kinship like what’s cultivated in the military wherein soldiers come home brothers despite leaving as strangers. To find someone to confide in and follow hand-in-hand through life no matter age, trajectory, or location isn’t something to take lightly. For many a friend may in fact be closer than family (unless someone fills both roles) because an outside perspective is invaluable. Friends know you and your potential to help drive you towards your dreams without expectations. Friends supply hope.

This is what the two cosmonauts at the center of Bronzit’s short give as they propel themselves forward within Russia’s space program, striving to fill the two suits awaiting the nation’s latest mission beyond our atmosphere. They literally breathe the cosmos with every breath, stay strong with every test measuring their endurance and constitution, and fall asleep to the pages of their favorite book about space. They jump on their beds despite being grown men because each bounce gets them closer to their ultimate goal. And with every check mark by their instructor we know they’ll be the ones donning helmets. With that certainty, however, comes the trepidation of what will go wrong. Every story needs conflict and this one provides the potential for devastating revelations.

As though it’s not bad enough when the first shoe drops, Bronzit hits us again with an emotional gut-punch showing exactly how close these men are and will be no matter what transpires. The short has its moments of dry levity, but they pale in comparison to those of impactful humanity. We empathize with their initial plight even if they seem unfazed—our sorrow not shared by the cosmonauts because what we see as “unfair” isn’t when the result is a known commodity. The next hiccup, however, is as heartbreaking for us as those onscreen, its aftermath turning spiritual as emotions transcend the physical and we witness the purity of their love. With friends, one’s success is shared. And if one falls, the other will never be the same.

courtesy of Shorts HD

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