Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
The literal translation of this film's title is "Welcome, strangers are not admitted." It is a satirical comedy about the stupidity of the people in charge of children's education, and the film punctures the pretensions of Young Pioneer summer camps, specifically. The Young Pioneers was a huge organization to which all children were supposed to belong. It offered communist party indoctrination for children from ages nine to age 14, but also included some "Boy and Girl Scout"-like activities, especially at its summer camps. Some camps were quite prestigious, such as the one in this story. The camp director, played with gusto by the distinguished actor Yevgeny Yevstigneyev, is eager to train children to obey rules. He places signs all over the camp indicating the specific rules and prohibitions which he wants obeyed. One particularly rebellious boy makes lots of trouble for the leaders of the camp, leaving his hiding place among the camp's "underground" every so often to play another prank. The leadership of the camp would very much like to find the boy and punish him and are frustrated by the silent, stoical refusal of the campers and some of the counselors to own up to his presence among them. This zany comedy was very popular in the former Soviet Union. The distinguished director of this film made many well-received films, among them being Come and See, which gave a harrowing view of World War II from the perspective of a young boy.
counselor, friendship, summer-camp, teenagers