El Bonaerense and The Cuckoo in August

Optimum Home Entertainment have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of two world cinema gems on DVD for 23rd August 2004. Priced at £19.99 each are El Bonaerense and The Cuckoo - two multi-award winning films from Russia and Argentina.

The Cuckoo is a beautifully photographed film that explores the difficulties of communication and cultural differences and is directed by Alexander Rogozhkin. Set in Finland at the end of World War II, The Cuckoo follows Veiko (Ville Haapasalo) a "cuckoo" - a man chained to a rock by his unit who struggles to set himself free. Elsewhere, Ivan (Viktor Bychkov), a captain of the Soviet army, escapes from the Soviet military police who hope to court-martial him for his supposed anti-Soviet beliefs. Somehow the two soldiers from enemy sides take refuge in the home of Anni, a Lapp Reindeer farmer who hasn't seen a man in four years. Whilst the trio speak different languages they manage to form a bond based on shared humanity and need.

El Bonaerense is a drama about lost innocence and shocking police corruption in the city of Buenos Aires. Written, produced and directed by Pablo Trapero, El Bonaerense tells the story of aimless locksmith Zapa (Jorge Roman) who lives in a small Argentinean town and is pressured by his boss to break into a safe. Arrested by the police, Zapa is bailed out by his Uncle Ishmael, a retired police chief who manages to find him a job in the Buenos Aires police force. Zapa is hurled into a hostile urban environment, which is worlds away from his former life in the provinces, and is quickly initiated into the brutal and corrupt methods of the city police force.

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