I have often remarked on the lack of publicity given to the great Russian directors. Such is Galina Barina whose filmography is remarkable but Google her name and count the hits. A Long Time Ago (and Part 2) is an exquisite movie of depth, wit and not a little grace. Set in a far off land where dragons rule, it encompasses coruscating satire on the state of our world and utilisation of those ancient myths surrounding the slaying of dragons and sacrifice of maidens. The opening is accompanied by awful synthesised musac that I declare would turn me off entirely if it were not quickly replaced by an altogether more tuneful soundtrack. Therefore ignore the opening musical salvo and enjoy a mechanised world (a city/castle) in which the future is a brave new world where the machine takes the strain. Or maybe not. A block is transformed into an egg only to revert back to its original form in the factory process, young lovers have their omelette/ sandwich made for them by a machine that squeezes out and discards the contents in the process. The pair inhabit a world of high rise apartments dominated by numerous television sets. When the lovers’ peace is disrupted by an invasion of cameras, they are feted in a palace before being rudely separated, the girl given over to sacrifice. This propels her partner to go don armour and do battle with the huge mechanised dragon. The plot development is excellent, the circular and ultimately pointless factory assembly line foreshadowing the conclusion as our victorious destroyer of dragons reaps the spoils of war. Having cuffed governments the world over, Galina adds a swipe or two at our celebrity culture that dominates television screens today even more than twenty years ago when the movie was made. A Long Time Ago is presented on YouTube and, in so far as it is required in a largely speechless movie, translated by Niffiwan who contributes a full, intelligent discussion of a stimulating film that should be far better known.