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Griva wins heart of Lyuda, while Arsen 's girl Kristina has her hands full with a religious sect leader
I watched a 71 minute print, as IMDb says it is. It may still be a cut version. The subtitles were good.
Lyuda is an Organizer for Komsomol (Soviet Youth Organization). She and others come to a spot where coal has been found to get a mine dug. There is hearty camaraderie and work energy. Griva (or Grisha) is a professional Digger who assists. He pursues Lyuda from the moment he sees her but she is not giving in so fast.
Meanwhile, Kristina's father sends her to the camp and instructs her to see the leader of a religious sect. She, being religious and obedient, does. He is viewed with suspicion by the local Director, Pavel. Indeed, he is portrayed as a devious cultist who is out for jewelry and for Kristina herself, and he has other women under his influence. Arsen loves Kristina and faces the problem of extricating her.
These basic elements and the characters are developed with excellent film editing, imagery, and close-ups. The Russian music adds to the entertainment. There is also at times some Soviet political influence on the story, such as an abundance of smiling workers, some anti-religious comments, a wise and avuncular Director and workers who toil happily beyond dusk. The actors professionally carry the day as does the black and white cinematography. The plot gets a little murky and seems undeveloped or abrupt in places, due I suspect to some cuts. One scene, a fight at night, is extremely dark. The final resolution under the closing credits is clever.
Overall, the film has charm, bolstered by good acting. Any propaganda is reasonably harmless. It is certainly less than one encounters in American war movies of World War 2.
While not a classic of Russian cinema, it is still a worthwhile and enjoyable watch.
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