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In the Nineteenth Century, at the seaside resort of Yalta, the upper class Dimitri Gurov from Moscow meets Anna Sergeyovna walking with her little dog. Both have unhappy marriages: Dimitri has a marriage of convenience arranged by the family when he was a college boy and Anna married a lackey for love that has gone, and they have a love affair. When Anna returns to Saratov and Dimitri to Moscow, he has a boring life at home, spending his time working and going to the club after hours alone to drink and play cards with his friends. On Christmas, Dimitri misses Anna and lies to his wife, telling that he has a business trip to Saint Petersburg. However, he heads to Saratov and he meets Anna in the Opera House with her husband. Their love kindles and Anna promises to meet him in Moscow. In a period when divorce would be unthinkable, Anna and Dimitri are doomed to meet each other in hotel rooms. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I admired the fact that the director paid such close attention to local detail that he included several scenes to point out the Moslem presence in Yalta (some 20% of the people are Tartars). There is a scene in which two touristy looking males order drinks in the hotel and then stick a pinkie into their glasses. This is a custom among westernized Turks who wish to follow the Koran's admonition that "the first drop of alcohol shall not pass your lips." So the first drop is removed. Then the coachman does his prayers while waiting for the lovers. And a mother is shown wearing a birka as the children are drilled in their Russian declensions. My fedora is tipped for him.
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