Russian director Alexei Muradov explores the inhumanity forced upon his fellow countrymen just prior to the collapse of Soviet Communism in his 2002 debut feature film The Kite. Residing in a bleak apartment building in a small Russian town, a seemingly typical couple (Nadezhda Ozerova and Viktor Solovyov) begins their dreary daily existences with a too-typical argument about family finances. At the heart of the issue is their son (Pavel Zolotilin), who is wheelchair-bound due to a debilitating disease and requires experimental surgery that may or may not ease his condition. After breakfast, the husband leaves for work as a state executioner at the local prison, which has become just as mundane as his life at home -- despite the many despicable acts he is forced to carry out in order to support his family. The only possible escape from his soul-deadening existence is an anticipated evening flying a kite with his son. Generally respected by Russian critics, The Kite found further critical acclaim as a participating film in the Critic's Week program at the 2002 Venice Film Festival.