Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Writer: Yuri Klepikov
Stars: Iya Savvina, Lyubov Sokolova,Aleksandr Sirin
Director Andrei Konchalovsky won the Nika Award for best director for this black-and-white movie.
This early film is still considered by many to be among this long-lived and fruitful director's most significant work. Konchalovskii used nonprofessional actors for all but the two lead roles in the film. This, coupled with the documentary style of shooting, gives this black-and-white film an aura of authenticity and honesty that a more polished work would be unable to reproduce. In this respect, the film is emblematic for the spirit of the times. The title character in the film is a simple, uncomplicated young woman who comes to make very complicated decisions concerning the most basic questions of human relationships and personal desire. The actress succeeds in conveying that kind of spiritual beauty that is so often portrayed in physically unimposing women in Russian cinema. But this portrait in sincerity promised to do much more than give Soviet audiences a new kind of heroine. By depicting the collective farm milieu so simply and directly, Konchalovskii intruded upon one of the most mythologized chronotopes of Soviet culture-the Soviet rural idyll. Too many of the orthodox topoi of Soviet village life are missing for the message of the film to be regarded as innocuous by the cultural authorities. The film was delayed for several years and released only in a heavily censored version in 1971. The final release of the film in 1987 constituted a major new credit to the filmography of a director who by this time had achieved commercial success in the very different milieu of Hollywood. ...