Scen.: Boris Barnet, Radij Pogodin; F.: Sergej Polujanov; Scgf.: Vasilij Šerbak; Mu.: Kirill Molčanov; Testo canzoni: Nikolaj Dorizo, Su.: Ol’ga Burkova; Int.: Vasilij Merkur’ev (Pavel Pavlovič), Kolja Bogatyrev (Griška), Ljuda Čistjakova (Njus’ka), Ekaterina Mazurova (nonnina Tat’jana), Nadežda Rumjanceva (Simka, contabile del kolchoz), Boris Novikov (brigadiere del kolchoz), A. Berezovskaja (Klavka), Elizaveta Nihiščihina (Zojka), A. Potapov, V. Ryžakov, V. Orlovskaja; Prod.: Mosfil’m; Pri. pro.: 24 novembre 1963. 35mm. D.: 67’. Bn.
The story of the no longer young scholar Pavel Pavlovič , who travels with canvas and paintbrush to a country village in search of peace, can confidently be interpreted as an autobiographical work of the director, a deep meditation on the passing of life and the need to take stock. The protagonist is captivated by the new, unexpected atmosphere and almost relives a second youth. That same atmosphere, tinged with subtle melancholy, transports us to a bucolic idyll. Even if surrounded by equally important characters, this time the figure of Pavel stands out from the rest in a central role, always in the foreground. “This character is tired and still suffers from war wounds, but he cannot help tinkering with a sewing machine or a telephone receiver whenever he is asked to repair it. His tiredness is probably akin to that of Barnet himself, who must have known these emotions so well,” said Bernard Eisenschitz, referring also to the 1956 film Poet.
After the success of Alënka, with critics but not audiences, the press watched Polustanok with curiosity but in the end was not won over by it. In particular, its alienating quality was viewed as a major weakness, far from reality. What for Barnet was a way to access the world of emotions was interpreted by critics as simply the “tale of an old man struggling with not very amusing situations”, a reflection of the detachment and indifference that had grown around the director.