Sergei Bodrov jr. came to fame as an actor in Prisoner of the Mountains (1996) by his father and in Brat (1997) by Alexei Balabanov. His directing debut Sestry reveals that he has learnt a lot from Balabanov's film, certainly in terms of the laconical and committed tone. The convincing leading roles are for the young Oksana Akinshina and Katya Gorina, who play two halfsisters. Sveta lives with her grandmother and is not too keen on her spoilt halfsister, who lives with her mother and gangster father. When her stepfather comes out of jail and is confronted with colleagues who immediately want to see an old loan paid back, the sisters have to flee together from the crooks who want to use them as hostages. They grow closer together in this dangerous situation.Supported by a high tempo and hip Russian music by (the late) Viktor Tsoi, Bodrov jr. uses the gangster story as backdrop for a casual portrait about growing up in modern Russia: it looks at the fear and actions of the omnipresent Mafia in all its forms, but also at the corrupt and impotent police, gypsies, poverty and drink.In the meantime, Sveta thinks about becoming a sniper in Chechnya. 'For their side or ours?', asks her Jewish boyfriend. He is planning to emigrate to Germany, because at least `they're good to Jews there.'