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Flights in Dreams and in Reality (1983)

Polyoty vo sne i nayavu (original title)
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, a man realizes nothing he has achieved in his life has amounted to very much.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lyubov Rudneva ...
Yelena Chernyak ...
Alyona Odinokova ...
Sergei Ivanov ...
(as S. Ivanov)
Nadezhda Lagutenko ...
(as N. Lagutenko)
Galina Shigayeva ...
(as G. Shigayeva)


Sergey is an attractive man approaching forty who is acutely aware that nothing he has achieved during the better part of his life has brought him any satisfaction. His frantic sprints between his work, his lover and his family, and the constant lies he uses to explain his absence, only tighten the noose around his neck. The three days that separate him from the Big 40 might present an opportunity to change everything, or he might just lose it all instead.... The Soviet update of the literary concept of the "superfluous man," filmed at the end of the Brezhnev Stagnation, was Balayan's most successful title. It was here that he first engaged Oleg Yankovsky, an actor who subsequently appeared in the majority of the director's films; without guile or pathos, he captures the existential dimension and contradictions of the morally questionable hero. The film surprisingly eluded the narrow gaze of the remorseless censors and was thus able to present audiences with a faithful portrayal of ... Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Release Date:

17 January 1983 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Flights in Dreams and in Reality  »

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Did You Know?


After Kashtanka (1975) and Biryuk (1978), two films based on classical Russian books, director Roman Balayan remained inactive for several years as he wasn't interested in making communist films he was offered. According to him, 'Polyoty vo sne i nayavu' became the film where he put all the anger and disappointment accumulated in him within these years. See more »

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User Reviews

Flying Asleep and Awake
4 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

On the eve of his fortieth anniversary Sergei Makarov (Oleg Yankovsky), looks back at his life and learns that he has achieved nothing. He was not able to be happy and to bring happiness to the closest people in his life, neither to his long-suffering wife nor young mistress nor friends nor work... It is about the men who never grew up and could not find themselves in the time of stagnation – gifted, charming, but infantile and lost, they never were able to realize themselves...

This film became a super-hit in the Soviet Union of the eightieth. The audiences were divided into two camps. Some saw it as a personal insult, others - as a personal victory, as truth about their time and about themselves. When I saw it twenty four years ago, everyone was fascinated by the courage of the movie creators who chose a weak man, an anti-hero as a symbol of his times. When I saw it last night, the main character irritated me most of the time and I simply could not bring myself to sympathize or identify with him. Some of the best Russian actors gave very good performances (Oleg Yankovsky, Oleg Tabakov, Lyudmila Gurchenko and Nikita Mikhalkov in a short but memorable cameo) but the movie belongs to its era and it did not age well...

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