7.7/10
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20 user 10 critic

The Commissar (1967)

Komissar (original title)
Klavdia Vavilova, a Red Army cavalry commissar, is waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy. She stays with a Jewish family to give birth and is softened somewhat by the experience of family life.

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Writers:

, (story "V gorode Berdicheve")
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9 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Nonna Mordyukova ...
Klavdia Vavilova
Rolan Bykov ...
Yefim Mahazannik
Raisa Nedashkovskaya ...
Maria Mahazannik
Lyudmila Volynskaya ...
The Grandmother
Vasiliy Shukshin ...
The Commandant
Lyubov Kats ...
(as Lyuba Kats)
Pavel Levin ...
(as Pavlik Levin)
Dmitri Kleyman ...
(as Dima Kleyman)
Marta Bratkova
Igor Fishman
Sergey Nikonenko
Otar Koberidze
Viktor Shakhov ...
(as V. Shakhov)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leonid Reutov ...
(as L. Reutov)
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Storyline

Klavdia Vavilova, a Red Army cavalry commissar, is waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy. She stays with a Jewish family to give birth and is softened somewhat by the experience of family life. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1988 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Commissar  »

Box Office

Gross:

$388,029 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 1967, this movie was screened in public for the first time only in 1988, which coincided with Glasnost. See more »

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User Reviews

this film shows the beauty and courage of a family caught in the midst of war.
14 May 2004 | by (clinton, NY) – See all my reviews

Throughout the movie, `Commissar', the innocence and naivety of the children allows them to be used as a medium through which many emotions can be conveyed. Sheltered from reality by their youth, the actions of children reflect their environment, unhindered as they are by experience, opinions, or understanding. The actions of a child are not filtered by taboos; the actions are pure and unadulterated regurgitations of the world around them.

The example that stands out the most in the film is that of the playful pogrom. The actions of the three children, taken against the fourth, are a horrible reflection of the world they live in. However, this is not the only such example. In fact, the same concept, used in the very next scene, shows a beautiful reflection of the strength and courage of a family caught in the maelstrom. As the bombs begin to fall, and the children all begin to wail within the cellar, it falls on Efim to hold everything together. He does this in an incredibly powerful scene, standing up in the middle of his family and beginning to dance. Instinctively the children stand up to join their father in an act they are obviously as familiar with as the pogrom, and are placated by mimicking the ritualistic, soothing moves of their father. Whether or not they understand the significance of the dance, just as they may or may not fully understand the pogrom, is irrelevant to them. All that is important is that it and their father are there to give them comfort.

Through the same general device, two very different ends are achieved. Many responses stressed the horrifically moving quality of the pogrom scene, but fail to mention the beauty and hope of a father dancing with his children, while the world rips itself apart around them.


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