Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Poet and filmmaker Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote and directed this metaphorical look at his fictionalized early life, set in 1941 when Muscovites were abandoning their city because of the war. Everything is hectic at the train station in the rush to leave, and little nine-year-old Zhenya (Sergei Gusak, Zhenya is a nickname for Yevgeny) is overwhelmed by the crowds and tearful good-byes. Once on board, danger continues for all the passengers -- the Germans are strafing the trains out of Moscow. As he heads toward Siberia and home, Zhenya meets a woman bandit and is intrigued by her enthusiasm for life and whatever of value she can swipe from it. As the two interact, some changes are in store for the woman -- a pivotal figure in this fictional voyage. Although metaphors and symbolic sequences often replace the narrative, this film is not totally successful as a cinematic statement and goes on a bit too long, considering its limited content.
boy, refugee, thief, train [locomotive], train-station, war, Russian [nationality]