A curious friendship develops between Gombo, a young Mongolian shepherd living with his wife and family in a hut, deep in the wilderness of the steppes, and Sergei, a Russian worker whose truck breaks down not far from Gombo's hut.
In the Soviet Union in 1936, shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. The accusations of being him a foreign spy are nonsense, and all known that, but a slow process of his life's downfall is already running.
Olga Voznesenskaya is a silent screen star whose pictures are so popular that underground revolutionaries risk capture to see them. She's in southern Russia filming a tear-jerker as the ... See full summary »
Early in the 20th century, family and friends gather at the country estate of a general's widow, Anna Petrovna. Sofia, the new wife of Anna's step-son, recognizes Misha, the brother-in-law ... See full summary »
Aboard a ship early in the 20th-century, a middle-aged Italian tells his story of love to a Russian. In a series of flashbacks filmed almost entirely in creams, whites, and ochers, the ... See full summary »
Tamara and Sasha were separated during the war. Now (1957) Sasha is visiting Moscow for five days and by chance recognizes the house where Tamara used to live. She is still living there with her nephew Slava.
St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' ... See full summary »
The shepherd Gombo lives with his wife, three children and grandmother in a tent on the Mongolian steppe. They are pleased with their rustic conditions, until a Russian truck driver, Serguei, gets stuck with his truck nearby. The cultural gap between Gombo and Serguie seems invincible. But maybe they can learn a few things from each other?Written by
This was the first film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film from Russia. Previous nominees from that country had been submitted from The Soviet Union. It lost to France's Indochine (1992). See more »
The film's closing stretch provides one of the most memorable depictions of creeping dysfunction as the family sits in front of the TV, watching either Bush-Gorbachev, or else not much of anything, with their Stallone "Cobra" poster propped up behind the TV. That aside, the movie's theme of lost innocence and cultural decay is perhaps a bit overdone (although not as overdone as the English title imposed on the movie would suggest) - indeed, there's almost nothing else to the film except somewhat ponderous - if inherently spectacular - shots of landscape and documentary-style observation, offset by the boisterous intrusion of the lost Russian (who in his drunken escapades brings it as close to a knockabout comedy as conceivable) and strange, strenuous fantasy sequences that drive home the notion of futile ambition, but are too contrived for comfort. Despite all reservations though, the movie often transcends mere exoticism - their early morning discussion about condoms for example is touching and convincing. as well as faintly surreal (from a Western perspective). The film suggests that traditionalism and modernity CAN actually coexist, which makes their failure to do so all the more poignant; the only way to make sense of the closing voice over is to conclude that it comes from the future, underlining the picture's sense of dislocation.
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