Tag Archives: Russian

Larisa Shepitko – Ty i ya AKA You and Me (1971)

Synopsis:
Peter, a former medical scientist, suddenly quits his cushy job as a doctor at the Russian Embassy in Sweden and returns to Moscow. 3 years ago his team stood on the threshold of a vital break-through in neurosurgery, but the experimental work was cut short when Peter left for Stockholm. Peter tries to pick up the threads of his old life, fails and runs still further away, to a small town in Northern Russia where he takes a job as a district doctor. But the past would not relinquish its hold on him even there. Read More »

Rustem Abdrashev – Podarok Stalinu AKA The Gift to Stalin (2008)

A Jewish child deported to Kazakhstan is saved and adopted by Kasym, an old Kazakh railway-man. Kasym gives him a Kazakh name, Sabyr, that in Kazakh language means humble. The child grows up in the small Kazakh village along with other deportees Vera, a traitor’s wife, and Ezhik a Polish doctor. The Soviet militia harasses the poor peasants and Vera suffered the harassment of a bully cop: Bulgabi. Finally Vera accepts the marriage proposal of Ezhik but the jealous Bulgabi tries to prevent the marriage. The result is a fight in which Ezhik shoots himself accidentally. The old Kasym decides that Sabyr is now old enough to go to seek his real parents. At the end Sabyr, now an adult, decides to return to the village, but the village no longer exists because it was destroyed by a Soviet nuclear test. Read More »

Boris Barnet – Podvig razvedchika aka Secrets of Counter-Espionage (1947)

Quote:
Soviet agent Fedotov is air-dropped into Nazi occupied land. He changes over into Mr. Eckert, a German entrepreneur wishing to take advantage of eastern worker slave labor in occupied Ukraine. Eckert (Fedotov) enters into a partnership with a German entrepreneur whose son, Willy, is a high ranking Nazi. Together they go to Vinnitsa, Ukraine and start a factory. Fedotov begins seeking contacts with headquarters, but faces problems when a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator manages to infiltrate the Soviet partisans. Read More »

Boris Barnet – Shchedroe leto AKA A Bountiful Summer (1951)

Quote:
Oksana Podpruzhenko, a beautiful brigadeer, a “heroin of the kolkhoz fields”, returns from Moscow where she has been awarded a medal for her work achievements. At the station she is met by a cheering mob of fellow townspeople, headed by Nazar, her boyfriend and director of the kolkhoz. Her idyll, however, is ruined with the arrival of Petro, who has returned from war to his native country… Read More »

Boris Barnet – Staryy naezdnik AKA The Old Rider (1940)

Quote:
A well-known rider, Trofimov, goes on taking part in races in spite of the advanced age. After an humiliating race, he realizes his time has gone, decides to marry and to invite his niece from the kolkhoze and village where he once lived. Read More »

Aleksandr Sokurov – Smirennaya zhizn AKA A Humble Life (1997)

An ancient, solitary house lost in the remote mountains of the village of Aska, in Japan. Inside the house lives an old solitary woman, whose humble life is made of little and silent tasks and traditions whose origins are lost in time: stitching kimonos, cooking, eating, keeping the fire alight, combing her hair, reciting unadorned a haicai, a prayer on solitude. With music from Japanese folklore and melodies from Tchaikovsky, Sokurov creates a poem in images which recalls a culture thousands of years old and his own feelings of nostalgia for his native Russia. Read More »

Mikhail Bogin – Dvoe AKA Two In Love (1965)

Quote:
Dvoe aka Two aka Two in Love (Mikhail Bogin, 1965)

(confusingly, the NY Times reviewer cited below refers to this as A Ballad of Love, the English title commonly given not to this but to Bogin’s second film, O lyubvi)

A young musician courts a beautiful woman who refuses to respond to a word he says despite multiple encounters. Eventually he learns that she is completely deaf. The remainder of the film consists of their beautiful — and beautifully silent — romance. Read More »