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Little Vera (1988)
"Malenkaya Vera" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  28 April 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,074 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

A story about a young woman, Vera, who is somebody, living the life of a troubled teenager in the time right before the end of the Soviet Union. She lives in a very small Russian apartment ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Natalya Negoda ...
Andrey Sokolov ...
Yuriy Nazarov ...
Vera's Father
Lyudmila Zaytseva ...
Vera's Mother
Aleksandr Negreba ...
Victor, Vera's Brother (as Aleksandr Alekseev-Negreba)
Aleksandra Tabakova ...
Andrey Fomin ...
Aleksandr Mironov ...
Aleksandr Lenkov ...
Mikhail Petrovich
Vadim Zakharchenko
Mariya Khmelik
Anatoliy Vasilev
Gennadi Goryachev ...
(as G. Goryachev)
Ye. Maryutina
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Max Warmflash ...


A story about a young woman, Vera, who is somebody, living the life of a troubled teenager in the time right before the end of the Soviet Union. She lives in a very small Russian apartment with her mother and father, however being this close to each other makes the living get rough. Their daily life is plagued with massive amounts of alcohol (mainly vodka) and when she tries to escape her home life, she meets up with a boyfriend, Sergei who then moves into her already small apartment after sleeping with her. Every day little Vera has to go through hell just to get by, which even involves her going against her own morals after her father has done something extremely wrong. Written by Rosa Thompson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Vera  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,262,598 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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References Still of the Night (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

A Closed, Cramped World
5 May 2004 | by (Clinton, New York) – See all my reviews

Please Note: This review mentions key moments in this film. Do not read if you have not seen the movie!

Vera, the protagonist in the film Little Vera, lives in a closed, cramped world. She is trying to escape, both emotionally and physically, but in the end is no closer to freedom. Most of the reviews I read brought up the recurrent theme of limited space in this movie. The family apartment represents Vera's closed world in the simplest sense. She has no room to move, no room to grow and no room to find herself. Everywhere she turns the finds herself face to face with her mother, father, brother or simply a wall.

However, the family apartment is only one way that the director maintains this constant feeling of confinement. Throughout the film, Vera is rarely shown at a distance. She is always in a small room, or sitting directly next to someone else, or being physically smothered by those around her (Andrei, Sergei, etc.). She is almost always in physical contact with another person. During the rare times that she truly is alone, such as when she is attempting suicide, the camera only zooms in closer. In this way, the lens replaces the walls and smothering humanity, itself becoming an object of confinement.

If visual effects of confinement aren't possible, then sound is used to heighten the sense of disparity. Most of the dialogue in Little Vera, with the exception of less intense moments when the music volume is increased, is shouted, yelled or screamed. Vera's family is constantly in conflict and even the most civil dinner eventually erupts into argument. I found the constant barrage of sound equally as suffocating as the repeated scenes within the tiny apartment, and twice as hard on the nerves. Unlike Vera, however, we could leave when it was all over.

It is hard not to feel sorry for Vera at the end of the movie, but is our sympathy justified? She returns, time and again, to the very apartment and situation that is slowly taking the life out of her. Can she really be considered a victim if she is bringing a lot of her misery upon herself?

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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