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 the party meeting starting around 30:00, there are six Soviet officials seated at a long table addressing a group of local party members. The camera cuts back and forth between the officials and the party members, but at a couple of points when the camera cuts back to the officials, they are seated in a different order in different chairs. See more »
Gripping portrayal of the bloody downthrow of the 1962 workers' uprise in Novocherkassk, told through the eyes of a convinced Soviet member of local government whose daughter goes missing after the incident that the KGB makes a government secret and seals off the city. Beautifully shot in black and white, with unusual camera perspectives, picture compositions and orchestrated movement within the frame. Excellent performance by the main actress and very skillful directing. Moving dramaturgy, despite a seeming gap in the middle and a relatively open ending, which give room for interpretation and pondering. Very worthwhile cinema.
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