Arlecchino Cinema > 21:30


Kira Muratova


Monday 27/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Divorcee Evgeniia Vasilevna, brilliantly acted by Zinaida Sharko, has spent 15 years working at the same desk as a technical translator. She is equally stuck in the rut of her mothering role, refusing to acknowledge that her son Sasha has grown up, as in many ways she refusesto grow up herself… Muratova subjects her heroine to a steely-eyed, penetrating gaze that reveals her worst faults. But, like Valentina in Korotkie vstrechi, Evgeniia is no caricature. Sharko makes her sufficiently sympathetic for us to cringe in embarrassment when she publicly nags Sasha to clean his nails, or bribes a postal worker to let her read his letters from his father… The theme of the parent/child relationship is treated in an interesting and somewhat unusual way. The screenplay encourages youth to be tender, more attentive, more humane. Veteran director Alexander Zarkhi wrote of Evgeniia Vasilevna: “At first glance, she seems banal and unpleasant, but later we discover in her genuinely strong emotions towards her son, and a human depth.” Screenwriter Mikhail Bleiman added: “We have got too used to a film and a screenplay being ‘about’ something. And we feel a bit at a loss when faced with a screenplay that is simply about life without foregrounding a ‘problem’.”… Muratova had nearly finished the film when, on 2 March 1971, an ominous telegram from the headof Goskino summoned her to Moscow. After looking at the material she had shot the editorial board demanded major changes… Their principal demand concerned the heroine, “who still in several scenes is devoid of charm, sympathy for others, fully admirable character”… Their eight demands illustrate the bureaucrats’ obsessive concern with elements that were less than cheerful and optimistic… During the 16 years that Dolgie provody was withheld from release it was regularly shown to students at VGIK, in Moscow, where it influenced a wholenew generation of Soviet filmmakers.

Jane Taubman, Kira Muratova, I.B Tauris, New York 2005

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Natalija Rjazanceva. F.: Gennadij Karjuk. M.: Valentina Olejnik. Scgf.: Enrique Rodríguez. Mus.: Oleg Karavajčuk. Int.: Zinaida Šarko (Evgenija Vasilevna), Oleg Vladimirskij (Saša Ustinov), Jurij Kajurov (Nikolaj Sergeeevič), Svetlana Kabanova (Tat’jana Karceva), Lidja Dranovskaja (Vychodceva), Viktor Il’čenko (Pavel Konstantinovič). Prod.: Grigorij Kogan per OdessaFilm Studio. DCP. D.: 97’. Col.