Der Bar (1984)

Run Time - 58 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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Popova (Elisabeth Rath) is a widow who lives in a crumbling mansion and manages as best she can with the help of a loyal and quirky butler/handyman named Luka (Hans Mandin). One day a former officer comes by to demand payment of an old debt that sets her along a collision course with her neighbor Smirnov (Hans-Peter Hallwachs) - an equally poor bachelor. The two go at each other with barbed diatribes that lead to a ridiculous duel - and then discover they are in love. Based on the Anton Chekhov one-act farce by the same title, this version of the Bear focuses on the visual aspects of an essentially theatrical presentation (the actors are all from the stage). Director Don Askarjan studied art history in Moscow and his training shows in this film, as well as his talent since this low-budget production was shot in ten days - and includes the unpaid labor of a hen who wanders around like the real owner of the mansion.



bachelor, battle-of-the-sexes, battle-of-wills, butler, debt, love, officer, widow/widower