When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.
Novocherkassk, USSR, 1962. Lyudmila is a Party executive and devout communist who had fought in WWII for Stalin's ideology. Certain that her work will create a communist society, the woman detests any anti-Soviet sentiment. During a strike at the local electromotive factory, Lyudmila witnesses a laborers' piquet gunned down under orders from the government that seeks to cover up mass labor strikes in USSR. After the bloodbath, when survivors flee from the square, Lyudmila realizes her daughter has disappeared. A gaping rift opens in her worldview. Despite the blockade of the city, mass arrests, and the authorities' attempts to cover up the massacre, Lyudmila searches for her daughter. We don't know how the search will end, but realize that the woman's life won't ever be the same.
Official submission of Russia for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. See more »
At around 28 minutes of this film, there is a reference that Novocherkassk is some kind of Bangladesh. The film is set in 1962 but Bangladesh only became an independent country ten years later. See more »
Fourth amazing collaboration of scriptwriter/director Konchalovsky and co-scriptwriter Kiseleva
Winner of major awards at Venice and Chicago film festivals 2020., and one of top 5 picked by the National Board of Review, USA, it is a remarkable screenplay written by the director and his co-scriptwriter Kiseleva (they have collaborated on 4 feature films, 3 of which I have seen) with the director's wife Yulia Vysostskaya playing the main role. Their works are slow paced but gather steam only as you reach the thought-provoking and stunning ends in each film. The one film that eluded me thus far of the 4 films is "Sin" (2019), a biopic on sculptor/painter Michelangelo, a copy of which was presented to the Pope by Putin. And the Pope is apparently an admirer of the director. One damning aside in the script is that Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Sholokov's "And Quiet Flows the Don" did not present the full truth of the events in the novel as one would have assumed it did. The award winning "Paradise" and "The Postman's White Nights" are the other wonderful works from the team. Reminds one of the late collaborations on the films of director Ken Loach with writer Paul Laverty, David Lean with writer Robert Bolt, and of Kieslowski with writer Piesiewicz in the evening of the respective director's careers.
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