1 user 3 critic

A Well for the Thirsty (1965)

Krynytsya dlya sprahlykh (original title)
| Drama | 1965 (Ukraine)
The old man who lives a secluded life in the desert, alone with only his memories and photographs.


Yuri Ilyenko


Ivan Drach




Cast overview:
Dmitri Milyutenko ... Serdyuk (as Dmytro Milyutenko)
Larisa Kadochnikova ... Solomiya / Paraska (as Larysa Kadochnykova)
Feodosiya Litvinenko Feodosiya Litvinenko ... (as Fedosiya Lytvynenko)
Nina Alisova ... Paraska
Dzhemma Firsova ... Mariya
Ivan Kostyuchenko
Evgeniy Baliev ... Maksim
Yuriy Mazhuga ... Petro
Yelena Kovalenko ... (as Olena Kovalenko)
Konstantin Ershov ... (as Kostyantyn Yershov)
Nataliya Mishchenko
Vladimir Lemport ... (as Volodymyr Lemport)
Nikolai Silis Nikolai Silis ... (as Mykola Sylis)
Grigoriy Basenko


The old man who lives a secluded life in the desert, alone with only his memories and photographs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Did You Know?


This film was made in 1965 but was forbidden until 1987. See more »

User Reviews

Beauty, Poem and Death
28 January 2014 | by souvikmeetszeusSee all my reviews

Yuri Ilyenko's feature film debut is a powerful and harrowing piece of filmmaking. Shot in the obvious magic of black and white, the movie starts as a chain of sequences that could be hard to understand, but once the viewer slowly relaxes and invests in the film, the story becomes pretty clear and absorbing. This is a little parable about life in harshness, and what old age does, after you've seen so many pass you by. It is about an old man, spending his last days and waiting for his death in a desolate house all alone, surrounded only by his memories and photographs from a bygone era. In his spare time, he makes a coffin for himself and then starts sleeping in it, hoping that way Death will come to him sooner. The film is a mix of the past and present, capturing beauty, war, politics and regrets, in other words, 'life' itself through another eye as it trickles to stagnation and decay. The old man stays on a deserted piece of land with only a well for company (and occasionally an old lady, probably symbolizing his conscience), a well that has comforted travelers and soldiers alike for many years. Somehow, the well becomes the man's alter ego; the clear water gradually becoming vile, even as our old guy wanes away in the corner. In time his family comes to visit, bringing with them the old man's pregnant daughter in law who gives birth as the film ends, probably referring to our man's death (my personal assumption) in a cyclic manner. Symbolisms are etched on the expansive landscapes beautifully, and this is honestly a rousing film in the last 40 minutes, but to experience that the viewer needs to be patient for the first twenty five minutes or so. Seemingly arty and incoherent at the start, the pieces slowly fall together, building up a moving and poetic ode to the journey of life towards absolution. Excellent visuals too. Great start with Ilyenko.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Soviet Union


Ukrainian | Russian

Release Date:

1965 (Ukraine) See more »

Also Known As:

Криниця для спраглих See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dovzhenko Film Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed