Scen.: Kira Muratova, Leonid Žuchovickij. F.: Gennadij Karjuk. M.: Olga Charakova. Scgf.: Aleksandra Konardova, Oleg Perederij. Mus.: Oleg Karavajčuk. Int.: Nina Ruslanova(Nadja), Vladimir Vysockij (Maksim), Kira Muratova (Valentina Ivanovna), Valerij Isakov (Stëpa), Elena Bazil’skaja, Ol’ga Vikland, Aleksej Glazyrin. Prod.: Odessa Film Studio. DCP. D.: 96’. Col.
Korotkie vstrechi was only one of several films made in 1966-1967, at the very end of the Khrushchev-inspired Thaw, featuring capable,unmarried heroines… who struggle with conflicts between the demands of their profession and those of love, family or – in the wider sense –of humanity, going far beyond the Stalin-era stereotypes of Soviet womanhood: either Cinderella or all-capable Amazon… Nadia, a village girl working as a waitress in a roadside cafe, falls in love with the guitar-playing Maxim and tracks down his address in the city. It turns out to be the apartment of Valentina, a member of the city soviet in charge of water and sewage. She assumes the girl at her door has beensent to work as a live-in housekeeper; Nadia, not revealing her friendship with Maxim, accepts the job… Vladimir Gulchenko has observed that the plot is less a love triangle than two parallel story lines that meet somewhere beyond the frame of the film. In fact, this reflects thegenesis of the screenplay, which Kira Muratova wrote in collaboration with Leonid Zhukhovitsky… The Nadia/Maxim plot line came from Zhukhovitsky’s short story, The House in the Steppe… But Muratova’s Nadia, in Ruslanova’s interpretation, is a far more interestingcharacter than Zhukhovitsky’s skinny, pale-browed 17-year-old. She is a self-contained young woman with deep roots in her native village.In the finished film, the most interesting and fully developed relationship is that between the two women, rather than between either of them and Maxim. Of his collaboration with Muratova, Zhukhovitsky recalls, “My story was a man’s story; it became clear that Kira wanted to make a woman’s film.
Jane Taubman, Kira Muratova, IB Tauris, New York 2005