Rhino, Film 4, written and directed by Oleh Sentsov



Right-wing followers of the moron’s moron and former President Trump are trying to indict President Joe Biden (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/28/biden-impeachment-inquiry-what-to-know) because of his son, Hunter’s, links with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Corruption was and remains at a high levels in Ukraine. Standard business practice of the Putin-model era in the 1990s in the gangster’s paradise in which in which everyone has a price.

Little Rhino (Dmytro Dima) gets into a scrap with other kids. He gets beaten but won’t give up. His brother (Dmytro Lozovskyi) is called up and leaves to fight for the USSR in Afghanistan.

Middle Rhino (Ivan Tamashev) is the leader of a gang of delinquents. Marina (Alina Zevakova) wraps herself around him and tries to keep him out of trouble. But she’s not enough to save him, although they do later marry. He gets arrested by the police after starting a fight outsight the school disco. The cop that arrests him jokes he doesn’t need to know his name, he’ll be seeing a lot more of him.

Adult Rhino (Serhii Filimonov https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serhii_Filimonov) doesn’t take no for an answer. He tries to blag his way into a gym that he is told is shut for the likes of him. He’s beaten up by other connected gangsters. Skull (Vladyslav Derduha) puts a price on his head. Tells him to turn up the next day with a few thousand dollars or he’ll kill him and burn down his mother’s house with them inside.

Rhino gets protection from another gangster in the district. He and his cronies begin working with them in protection and extortion. He’s good at it. They’re good at it. They go independent and take out the middle man. Rhino is a married, but has a mistress and other women he uses for sex. They use for sex while drinking and snorting cocaine. He’s on the up and up.

Rhino and his gang have come to the attention of the authorities. He’s called into the police station and told that for two years they have been preparing a file on him.  A scribbled figure on the back of the file, and bit of paper to remind him what he needs to pay to make it go away. Standard business practices.

But the gang has also created trouble with the gangster boss of bosses in the district, Dad (Volodymyr "Adolfych' Shamray). He tells Skull and his cronies to take them out.

Rhino’s wife and daughter are killed in a ‘car accident’, just after she has decided to leave him. He plots revenge, but is picked up by Skull and tortured in a way familiar to Glasgow gangster Jimmy Boyle.

Redemption? Is it possible? What is the price of a life in a corrupt system? Not just another run of the mill, gangster, movie. Has Ukraine changed that much after the Russian invasion? Certainly like the moron’s moron former President Trump’s alleged foot problems that kept him from being called up in the Vietnam War; those with money and influence in Ukraine seem to avoid front-line duties. Rhino is a snapshot in time and place. Worth watching.