The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1994)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Political Satire, Military Comedy, Satire  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - France, UK  |  
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A satirical look at Stalinism and Soviet bureaucracy, the movie is based upon a previously banned Russian novel by Vladimir Voinovich. Ivan Chonkin, an uncomplicated man with a taste for sex, is a soldier assigned to guard a broken down airplane in Red, a tiny rural village. Unbeknownst to him, World War II has erupted and his superior officers have forgotten about him. Chonkin enrages the neighbors when he moves into the home of his lover Nyura, the town postal clerk. To get revenge, the neighbors send an anonymous letter to the secret police accusing Ivan of being a spy. The dreaded NKVD immediately go the remote village to arrest Ivan, but he refuses to leave his post without direct orders from his general. In the end, Ivan Chonkin triumphs over both the secret police and the Soviet army.

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Keywords

accusation, bureaucracy, soldier, Stalinism, rurality, Soviet, military, bachelor, postal-worker, revenge