ASSA is set in Crimea during the winter in the mid eighties. A young musician (Bananan) falls for mobster's (Krymov) young mistress (Alika). The parallel story line involves an 18th century... See full summary »
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Young Siberian writer Volodya meets Kolya in the Moscow metro in his visit to a famous author. Volodya and Kolya's friend Sasha adventure their love interests in their own way, while Kolya sets out to help them.
The 1975 film by Georgi Daneliya "Afonya" was an unexpected commercial hit in USSR. The main character Borshev A.N. is a locksmith who spends his free time, as well as working hours, ... See full summary »
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In Italy, a dying woman tells her granddaughter that she hid her treasure many years ago in Russia, in the city of Leningrad. Other people (who were around when she died) also learn about ... See full summary »
Mosfilm gave the production crew exactly 5400 m of color Kodak stock for the whole movie, therefore parts of the movie and some demanding sequences, like the train robbery, had to be filmed on cheaper black and white stock. See more »
I'm very fond of this film, albeit with some misgivings about its one sided version of history (see later). It is basically a film about a group of friends who have just been demobbed from the Russian Civil War, and who are trying to get themselves back into civilian life, when one of them is framed for a gold robbery, and has to fight to prove his innocence.
Like many Soviet films of the time, it switches from colour to black and white at the drop of a hat, but in this film that works quite well. The music has a cheesy 1970s charm to it, and it reminds me of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in a positive way. In fact, this film reminds me of "Butch Cassidy" in more ways than one. They both have the same feeling of sad nostalgia to them, and friendship.
I count myself lucky to have seen it in the cinema, since it is hardly ever shown in this part of the world. The action sequences are excellent, with the exception of the assault on the bandits' camp, which we don't see at all.
Of course, the one thing I am uncomfortable with is the revision of history in the film and the political aspects. At times, the film lards you with Communist propaganda, and completely ignores the fact that the famines in the Soviet Union at the time were partly because of the government. The Cheka is presented as an entirely benevolent force (we know from the Soviets' own records that it was often brutal and barbaric, and arrested innocent people.). There is a bit of stereotyping in the film as well - one of the Muslim characters is portrayed as a complete idiot.
However, if you're willing NOT to let that get in the way, it is a brilliant film. If you get hold of the DVD, I recommend watching it with English subtitles, rather than with the English dubbing (I have watched both versions), because that version is much better.
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