Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This extremely long and intricate puzzle film follows the efforts of a modern Russian television reporter to piece together what happened to a television director who died for some reason in 1949, just at the beginning of Soviet television. Was the director a victim or a villain? Were there other scenarios? Each possibility is explored onscreen, accompanied by a wealth of deeply symbolic imagery, some of which may (or may not) offer a clue to the eventual outcome of the mystery. One highlight of the film is a sequence which considers that any one of the great tyrants of history could well have ordered the killings in the famous "Odessa Stairs" massacre so memorably brought to the screen by Eisenstein in his film, the classic Battleship Potemkin.