A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck... See full summary »
A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck she is cast as Joan of Arc in a big screen film. Now she is torn between her luck and her love to Arkadi (Kuravlev) who is a married man. Written by
"Nachalo" or "The Beginning" is Gleb Panfilov's masterwork, IMO, and his most popular film with the critics and audiences alike. Its heroine is a young woman, Pasha Stroganova (Inna Churikova in her most powerful double performance as Pasha and Joan), a factory worker in a small provincial town, who dreams of love, and spends her spare time acting in a local drama group. Her best role is "Baba Yaga", an old wicked witch in the stage adaptation of a folk fairy tale. She is discovered by a film director looking for an unknown actress to play Joan of Arc in his next movie and who is very impressed by Pasha's natural talent, temperament, love for acting and her face which is far from pretty but is unusual and fascinating, with its inner fire. I read that Panfilov was dreaming of making "Joan of Arc" with Churikova as the legendary Maid of Orleans after the success of "The Beginning", and I can only guess why it never happened in the former Soviet Union. The scenes of "Joan of Arc" inside "The Beginning" are stunning in every regard, and Churikova's face is reminiscent of the greatest screen Joan ever, Renee Maria Falconetti.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?