In this drama based on the works of legendary Russian author Anton Chekhov, a village teacher undergoes an emotional crisis that also torments his young wife. Meanwhile, a local doctor hates his work and takes out his frustration on his patients. When all these characters arrive for a weekend in the country as guests of a general’s widow, the curtain of manners and feigned pleasantries is soon drawn aside to reveal each person’s moral bankruptcy.
Nikita Mikhalkov, perhaps the most internationally famous living Russian filmmaker and actor is the son of soviet poets Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov and Natalya Petrovna Konchalovskaya and brother of well-known Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky. He started with acting at the children’s studio of the Moscow Art Theatre and later at the Schukin School of the Vakhtangov Theatre. Still as a student he appeared in Georgi Danelyia’s film I Walk Down Moscow (1964) and few years later in his brother – Andrei Konchalovsky’s – film Home of the Gentry (1969). While on the best way to become a star of the Soviet stage and cinema, he decided to study directing at VGIK (State film school in Moscow) in the class of Mikhail Romm and Andrei Tarkovsky. From VGIK he graduated in 1970 with the short film A Quiet Day at the End of the War. The fame and recognition came along with his first feature At Home Among Strangers (1974), a Red Western set just after the 1920s civil war in Russia.
His… read more
The theme of rotteness and fall of the russian bourgeoisie and the potray of communism being still a child is delivered in your face, very explicit and somehow childish. First half of the movie is hard to digest, the second is full of over the top personal testimonies that tell you the same points for the fifth time. What a shame. But still - two brillians scenes; the last one and the mad, surreal protagonist