The film's story takes place in Moscow in the 1970s. Its plot unfolds around the love triangle between two young men and a girl who study at the same university. They argue, make up, and ...
See full summary »
Sergei and Simon have to deliver a suitcase full of heroin to Mikhalych or else they will be killed. There is one minor detail: the only problem-solving technique they are familiar with is ... See full summary »
In this comic but dated story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of ... See full summary »
Simultaneously nihilistic and heartening, Ward No. 6 is based on a story by Chekov, in which a psychiatric doctor becomes a patient in his own asylum. Updated to contemporary Russia, the ... See full summary »
A young romantic loves step dance but there is only one person who knows this forgotten art. Beglov was a step dance super star back in 50s but as step became unpopular he lost everything. ... See full summary »
An engineer in charge of the production line of a factory in Moscow is sent to a small town to try to specify the distributor the new dimensions of a mechanic part they need. But in this ... See full summary »
Russia, 1936: revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer in his village with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadia and other assorted family and friends. Things... See full summary »
One evening after a hard day at the office, Pavel Ivanovich Vasin starts to behave quite strangely to family and friends. He leaves home and for the next 24 hours continues to do strange ... See full summary »
The film's story takes place in Moscow in the 1970s. Its plot unfolds around the love triangle between two young men and a girl who study at the same university. They argue, make up, and face their first disappointments and victories. While busy with personal lives and loves, they miss foreseeing that the country in which they were born and live will soon disappear from the map. Written by
We see few Russian films here in the U.S. and our familiarity with modern day Russian life is limited. Here we get a view of life in the Brezhnev 1970s. "Vanished Empire" reassures us that the Russians are just like everybody else, save for social conditioning and a scarcity of consumer goods. It's convincing characters are warm, animated and full of very familiar foibles. But it is charming how readily family and friends "do" for each other there,enthusiastically.
Yet this is a society so parched for Western-style consumer goods that a used Japanese radio can get a buddy out of police custody, a nice jacket plus gas money can induce a cab driver to take someone to the hinterlands and back.
Sergey, the focal character, is well and charmingly rendered by young Aleksandr Lyapin. Like a lot of 18 year old college boys he is impulsive and easily suggestible. His romance with girlfriend Lyuda is in full bloom but a call from his comrades can make him forget his commitments to the lady. More than once Sergey shows that loyalty to his buddies trumps faithfulness to his lover.
Sergey's inattention to those who love him and his hijinks in school are forgiven, up to a point, because of his youth and charm. But the carefree life and luck of a teenager cannot last. Life becomes serious and the due bill for self-centered presumptions is, inevitably, presented.
The women characters in this film are long suffering. Though not ill-treated physically, they are never valued above male comradeship. Their needs are not thought of, or not taken seriously. Lyuda's treatment by Sergey reminded me of the comment of an American exchange student who had boyfriends in the Soviet 1970s. Asked if she ever considered marrying any of them, she said "No." She said that, in Russia, "a woman might be loved but she will never be respected." Jim Smith
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?