Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Writers: Aleksandr Adabashyan, Anton Chekhov (play)
Stars: Aleksandr Kalyagin, Elena Solovey, Evgeniya Glushenko
Conque d'or au Festival de San Sebastian, 1977
Premier prix au Festival de Chicago, 1978
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. One of the best screen adaptations of Chekhov's works, the film is based on the play Platonov and motifs from some stories. Mikhalkov conveys with warm humor, slight grotesqueness and nostalgia Chekhov's thoughts on the meaningless and fruitlessness of the intelligentsia's altruistic impulses, on the chasm between the "simple folk" and those indulge in idle talk about their difficult life.