After a slow start caused by sinus problems and food poisoning, our Berlin Film Festival experience kicked off with Okraina, a 1933 drama from Meschrabpom-Film, the studio that is the focus of this year's Retrospektive. About 40 movies from the Russian-German studio, which existed between 1922 and 1936, are being screened this year, and, as historical artifacts, these films are treasures. As a cinematic tale on its own, Okraina is a bit of a bore. The picture takes place in a small Russian village where cobbling seems to be a dominant vocation and where Germans and Russians live peacfully together. War breaks out, loyalties are tested, but eventually the revolutionary spirit of 1917 reunites the town. A few artfully composed shots and decent performances by the large ensemble cast can't overcome the awkward structure and clumsy editing.