Magic realism from Russia, but not the colorful pretty kind of Mermaid. Instead here the nearly monochromatic backdrop of the Kazakh steppe fills the screen. It's interesting to look at, but I feel like I've seen it more interestingly presented in other films. It also has a bit of an off kilter-Western vibe that sneaks in from time to time.
In remote landscape lives a doctor with very limited resources. He only seems to have a few bandages and one or two medicines in a small tin. Each day seems pretty monotonous, occasionally punctuated by one of the locals being rushed into the house - typically on the verge of death. Amazingly he seems to save everyone - usually via some method crossing the line between modern medicine and a folklore cure. Occasionally it's just the latter such as when the locals teach him how to revive someone killed by a lightening strike by burying them up to their head.
He's also waiting for his lover to return - and there's a brief segment devoted to that. Crime seems to also be on the rise with at least one shootout between interlopers and the sole police officer anywhere in sight. Throughout a mysterious stranger is watching him from the hills...
I'm not really sure what they were going for here. At one point I got the sense of everyone existing in a state of literal purgatory. Sometimes films can be a bit too challenging to me.
I didn't hate the film as it kept me wondering where things were going and what significance events have. In a festival that was at times a little short of mentally challenging fare it wasn't a bad change of pace. But outside of the festival environment I'm not sure it'd be something I'd recommend unless you have a deep love of Russian cinema. Particularly the type with less talking and a bleak palette. Looking back it was probably the most interesting of the "serious" films on my last day - so don't let me completely scare you off.
If you'd like a better sense of some of the visuals their official website has a fair number of photos and a trailer.