Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Based on the last novel written by Alexander Pushkin, this well-wrought tale of political daring and intrigue is set at the end of the 18th century during the reign of one of Russia's greatest rulers, Catherine the Great. The story centers on a young soldier, Peter Griniev (Oleg Strijenov), who has been banished to a distant outpost because of his drinking habits. The post's Captain Mironov Vladimir Dorofeyev has a lovely daughter by the name of Masha (Ia Arepina) who captures the heart of young Peter just as he is recovering from a duel with another soldier. In the meantime, the Cossacks are rising up in revolt, and their leader, Pugachev (Sergei Lukianov) has a special relationship to Peter -- the young soldier had once saved his life. As Pugachev and his peasant followers approach the outpost, the drama reaches its moving climax. Ironically, Pushkin wrote this story in 1836 and was killed the following year in a duel (a practice he rails against in his stories).