Description: An unenviable lot fell to the Red Army soldier Shilov: he is being suspected of stealing gold. In the hungry 1920s, the young Soviet Republic’s government searches for gold all over the country, to buy for it bread from abroad. And now, the collected valuables disappeared from the armored and well-guarded train car on their way to Moscow. Shilov learns that the valuables have been stolen by the bandits. To restore his good reputation, Shilov has to infiltrate the band. To find out where the stolen gold is kept, he must be at home among the strangers.
A debut of the world-famous director Nikita Mikhalkov, this film is an excellent model of a “western”, having a very ingenious plot, and, most importantly, being a hymn to men’s true friendship.
Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh AKA At Home Among Strangers, A Stranger Among His Own (1974)
One of the most popular movies tells, in an ironic manner, about complicated relationships between close people. Among the film’s achievements is not only splendid acting, but also the fact that “Kinfolk” remains as contemporary and topical as before. The relations between a son-in-law and a mother-in-law are as everlasting a theme as love itself. Especially when the role of the son-in-law Stasik is brilliantly played by Yuri Bogatyryov, and that of the mother-in-law by the incomparable Nonna Mordyukova. Marusya Konovalova, a kind, simple-hearted country woman, comes to Moscow to visit her only daughter (Svetlana Kryuchkova) and tries to help “glue together” her broken-up family. Acting with best intentions, she cannot understand why her interference provokes a stormy protest…First film role of Oleg Menshikov. N. Mikhalkov, A. Adabashyan and P. Lebeshev as waiters and cooks!
Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Rodnya AKA Kinfolk (1981)
It is the story of two people who once loved each other. He thinks he still loves her, but she understands, after nine years, that she doesn’t love him and that she cares about somebody else now. It is a very intense movie. The action takes place in one single afternoon, in a communist apartment, and it is focused on these two people. Actually, all the other characters are not physically present and they appear only through photos or phone calls. It is as if that flat is a place where you cannot hide from yourself. He sees in her the simple life that he could have had and the happiness that he gave up in order to climb the social ladder. When he realizes that he had lost her, he tries to prolong her unhappiness. But, after all these years of waiting and suffering, she is mature enough not to fall in his trap. She sees in him the involvement, the indecision, the hypocrisy. He wanted so much of his life, but in the end he is left with his shallow accomplishments. He asks himself whether life can be so simple and so real like the life of his ex-wife. Because it is so concentrated, the movie makes you think of the essence of life and love and about what one has to do in order not to waste one’s life. This symbol of the essence of life appears in one of her lines, as ‘the inner song.’ She says that all that one has to do in life in order to be happy is to do everything according to one’s inner song … (comment from imdb.com)
Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Bez svideteley AKA In Private (1983)
Epic film about WWII, a sequel to Burnt by the Sun (1994). Evil Stalin is terrorizing people of Russia while the Nazis are advancing. Russian officer Kotov, who miraculously survived the death sentence in Stalin’s Purge, is now fighting in the front lines. His daughter, Nadia, who survived a rape attempt by Nazi soldiers, is now a nurse risking her own life to save others. In the war-torn nation even former enemies are fighting together to defend their land. People stand up united for the sake of victory. The deadly war comes at very high cost: the Nazis are killing people, burning villages, raping women, bombing churches, destroying bridges. Hoping to survive, Kotov and his daughter are having visions of each other, but their dreams fade amidst massive bombardment. Fire and smoke eclipses the sun. The land around becomes lifeless, defenseless and littered with the dead. Then the dead are covered by snow. Life is over. Only a butterfly is flying above the weapons and corpses, alluding to eternity. Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Utomlyonnye solntsem 2 aka Burnt by the Sun 2 (2010)
By the early ’90s, it was finally possible for filmmakers working in the former Soviet Union to deal honestly with the horrors of the 1930s, when Stalin and his regime “reassessed” the contributions of many heroes of the Revolution, resulting in mass imprisonments and death for many millions. Nikita Mikhalkov’s brilliant film about those dark days is ironically set at a sunny summer retreat where Serguei Petrovich Kotov (Mikhalkov), an officer who has been honored for his contributions to the success of the state, and his family are enjoying an idyllic summer’s day. The film’s deliberate pacing for a full half-hour (we might think we’re watching the Russian equivalent of Renoir’s Partie De Campagne) lulls the viewer into a false sense of serenity. When Dimitri, an old lover of Kotov’s young wife and now a government official, arrives, Mikhalkov allows our suspicion that Dimitri’s visit isn’t merely personal to accumulate slowly. The film flirts with sentimentality, especially in casting Mikhalkov’s real-life daughter as Kotov’s irresistibly cute little girl, but after all, the filmmaker’s goal is to show the toll that a repressive political regime can exact on the lives of individual citizens. (AMG) Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Utomlyonnye solntsem aka Burnt by the Sun (1994)
Early in the 20th century, family and friends gather at the country estate of a general’s widow, Anna Petrovna. Sofia, the new wife of Anna’s step-son, recognizes Misha, the brother-in-law of one of the widow’s admirers: a few years before, they had been idealistic lovers and now she can’t believe he has settled for a dim wife and a job as a teacher. Amidst parlor games and idle talk of women’s rights and peasants’ capabilities, Sofia and Misha rekindle their love. Will they flaunt convention, abandon families, and run away to pursue lost dreams? Rescue comes from an unexpected place. Continue reading Nikita Mikhalkov – Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino AKA Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano (1977)