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.
First screen adaptation of Gorky’s ” Mother”
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!
“Save and protect is a philosophical tragedy where the drama of love is just a manifestation of the tragic nature of human life. Man is just a blind stranger, wandering around from his birth to his death. The story of the film is closely connected with the parable of human bondage and laws of fate; it exists beyond historical time and any concrete nationality. The latter is emphasised by a daring artistic device — the heroine’s speech is a mixture of Russian and French words without translation.
Tatiana Smorodinskaya (from the annotation of film editor)
Plot (source IMDB): In the 20′s an enthusiast radio amateur, Fyodor Lbov, experiments one of the first short-waves radio in the city of Gorky. Continue reading
Sokurov shows the official manifestation and fireworks on the 1st of May, one of the ritual celebrations of Soviet times, as a gathering of tired participants of a mass scene falling into pieces without the director’s orders and without any aims. Outbursts of joy without reason, mixed here and there with equally unmotivated signs of anxiety are given in brief sketches of a restless and pitiful crowd. A part instead of the whole, individual instead of common, a symbol growing up from details are the postulates of Eisenstein’s representation of the “people’s masses,” both the chorus and the protagonist of the Soviet official culture. Sokurov revises these postulates in the context of our time when the chorus has gone out of action, both in the aesthetic and in the social sense, and the protagonist is absent. However, both chorus and soloist are introduced into the picture of the festivity by the hand of the author: Sokurov puts a church canticle into the soundtrack of the film. It is an evening Orthodox prayer of repentance: “let my prayer be like incense before Thou, like my hands uplifted, an evening sacrifice.” Continue reading
Set to the music of Bach and Penderecki, Sonata for Hitler weaves together a bank of images from German and Soviet archive footage, drawing out a psychological dimension from the historical landscape at the end of World War II.
Alexander Sokurov’s Sonata for Hitler was banned by the Soviet authorities in his home country of Russia and was not released until a decade after it was completed. Much of his early work, in fact, was considered ‘anti-communist’ and remained unseen for years. It was not until 1996 that he produced his first internationally acclaimed feature, Mother and Son.