Directed by Alexander Vartanov
Bullet Collector is the powerful debut of Russian director Alexander Vartanov. A unique and visually striking work, the film examines the traumas of a wide-eyed 14-year-old boy, struggling to cope with a terrible home life dominated by an angry mother and a stepfather who can't stand the sight of him. His school routine is plagued by brutal attacks from bullies, and his life becomes even more nightmarish after he is sent to a hellish reform school.
Losing himself in a fantasy world where he is loved by a beautiful girlfriend and able to defeat his oppressors, the boy's reality tells of a very different life. But is he actually just a timid teen destined for abuse, or will he gain the strength to fight off his attackers? Recalling the world of Antoine Doinel in Truffaut's The 400 Blows, this unsettling, moody masterwork updates that classic by giving it a distinctly Russian flavor.