This gloomy Russian character study follows a young veterinarian who works at a training center for hunting dogs in a remote wooded area. He lives a monkish existence, thinking almost exclusively of his work and keeping at arm’s length the family who own the facility, despite their efforts to forge a deeper relationship with him. Director Natalya Meshchaninova aspires to the look and feel of a direct-cinema documentary—there’s no music, every shot is handheld, and the narrative (at least for the first hour or so) emphasizes everyday behavior over dramatic incident. Only after a while does it become clear that the veterinarian is an emotionally disturbed sociopath who devotes himself to animals to avoid getting close to people. Meshchaninova doesn’t have much to say about the character apart from this; once she reveals his true nature, the film doesn’t really have anywhere to go.