Director: Kira Muratova
Cast: Vladimir Vysotskii, Kira Muratova, Nina Ruslanova, Elena Bazilskaya, Aleksei Glazyrin
Soviet Union, 1968, 96’, black & white
Russian with Turkish subtitles
For her astonishing debut feature, Kira Muratova cast herself as Valentina, the head of a regional housing office in a backwater Soviet-era town. For some time, Valentina has been carrying on an affair with Maxim, a free-spirited geologist who occasionally passes through town on prospecting missions. She hires a country girl, Nadya, as a housemaid, not knowing she had a relationship with Maxim during one trip. The lives, memories, and desires of these characters are woven together through Muratova's subtle and intricate montage, showing through flashbacks each woman's idealization of Maxim - played by Vladimir Vysotsky, a performer of anthemic underground songs hailed then as the "Russian Bob Dylan." Banned and shelved til glasnost, Brief Encounters rankled the censors with its freewheeling morals and tough look at everyday Soviet life. Muratova unflinchingly records the dismal housing conditions, lack of public facilities, and growing desperation of the young workers who have abandoned the countryside to try their luck in the city.
Henryk Weyssenhoff, author of landscapes, prints, and illustrations, devoted much of his creative energies to realistic vistas of Belorussia, Lithuania, and Samogitia. A descendant of an ancient noble family which moved east to the newly Polonised Inflanty in the 17th century, the young Henryk was raised to cherish Polish national traditions.
The wind blows, rubbing against my legs made of layers of metal and wires, swaying the leaves of grass that have shot up from the cracks in the tarmac, and going off to the windows that look like the eyes of dead children in the wrecked buildings that seem to be everywhere as far as the eye can see.
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