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very talented film about family life in Soviet Union
Although I'm not a great admirer of Nikita Mikhalkov's films on the whole, this film is a masterpiece. It is a very true picture of complex family relationships in the last decade of Soviet era. Plot and actors' performances are brilliant, many scenes became classical (I can only name three: family quarrell when granddaughter's dancing in earphones, while her mother and grandmother are shouting at each other; Nonna Mordukova and Yury Bogatyrev as mother and son-in-law dancing in the restaurant - absolutely epic!; and final scene at the railroad station when mother and daughter argue and reconcile, mother's going to leave but stays in the end). Nonna Mordukova plays middle aged woman Maria from the village who goes to visit her daughter living in a city (it's not named in the film, most scenes were filmed in Dnepropetrovsk; runners on the stadium in Kiev and restaurant in Pushchino in Moscow region, known as a biological research center). She finds out daughter's going to divorce her husband, who's having a love affair with a young girl. When she tries to put things in order, it turns out even worse, so she has to give it up. Her own family is also broken, she's lost sight of her ex-husband long ago. While in town she finds him in a miserable state ruined by drinking. His second wife and and son don't want to contact him. Maria pities him and believes that he wants to come back to her and return to the village. She waits him at the station, but he doesn't come and later she finds him drunk at his son from the second marriage sending off to army service. At the railway station she meets her daughter and granddaughter, two woman reconcile at last though they can't stop arguing. That makes the final scene not melodramatic as it could be, if this film wasn't so realistic. Though the story is rather sad, it's not altogether black, and contains a lot of humor. I think it may be quite difficult for people who never lived in Soviet Union to watch this film, but it's really worth it. Those who remembers that time may notice a lot of very true and funny details beginning from Maria's permanent wave in a "kolchoz style" and her T-shirt with Olympic emblem or typical wedding celebration in the second-rate restaurant;)
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