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Friday, October 27, 2006

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

This delightful Soviet film was made in 1979, and won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1980. I missed it, of course. I was in the midst of a demanding graduate school program then, after a twenty-year learning hiatus. Movies would have to come later - in some cases, much later. Like now. Our little local library is part of a large cooperative system that allows me to request virtually any film by searching on line and having it delivered to my home library, just a block away. All for free. I take full advantage of this wonderful system.

The first part of the story takes place in 1958. Three young women have come to Moscow where they live in a dormitory and find jobs as factory workers. They are desperate to find respectable, professional husbands, and go to some madcap extremes to accomplish this. Imagine "Laverne and Shirley" in Moscow, if you will. Then, for the second part of the movie, fast-forward twenty years to see what has become of them. Things haven't, of course, all turned out as expected. I've never seen a better depiction of day-to-day life in Moscow. A sitcom, yes, but more than that. I loved seeing the streets of Moscow, the nearby countryside, the picnics, the apartment interiors, offices, factories. It makes one wonder what the Cold War was all about. These people were our enemies?? Why? The acting is first-class. It's in Russian, of course with subtitles. Highly recommended.


Blogger nina said...

Thank you for this plug. Most good movies coming out of the Eastern block prior to the switch to democratic governance and market economies were deadly serious. SOme quite beautiful (I'm thinking of Polish movies), poetic even, but very very serious. This sounds like just the perfect snapshot of Russian daily life.

2:36 PM  

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