Russian filmmaker Alexander Zarkhi is best known for the groundbreaking drama Baltic Deputy, a film that he directed with longtime collaborator Josef Heifitz. The film is considered a precursor of the historic realism movement in Soviet cinema. He teamed up with former classmate Heifitz following graduation from the Leningrad School of Screen Art. The two worked together through 1950 when Zarkhi left to make films alone. He proved himself competent and made films through the early '70s. Zarkhi died in Moscow at the age of 89.