Synopsis by Yuri German
This is the first feature film directed by Alexander Sokurov, who is widely regarded as a spiritual heir of director Andrei Tarkovsky. Completed in 1979, the film wasn't released until 1987 when it received a Bronze Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. The film is based on a few stories by Russian writer Andrei Platonov, who was not a member of the official Soviet pantheon at the time, so maybe this is the reason why the film had difficulties with its distribution. After the end of the Russian Civil War, Red Army soldier Nikita Firsov returns to his hometown. There he meets Lyuba, whom he has known since childhood. Lyuba lives alone, since her mother has died and her brother has gone somewhere with the Red Army. Nikita begins to visit her frequently. He is in love with Lyuba but never tells her. When he falls sick, Lyuba brings him to her house and takes good care of him. They get married, but their marriage is never consummated; it is Nikita's fault, and, remorseful, he leaves town. He wanders a lot and almost stops talking to people. A sudden meeting with his father -- who tells him that Lyuba has been missing him so terribly that she even attempted to drown herself -- makes him change his mind, and he returns to Lyuba, whom he loves so much. The same story was also filmed by Andrei Konchalovsky in his first American movie Maria's Lovers (1983) starring John Savage and Nastassja Kinski. Konchalovsky changed the setting to a Yugoslav community in Pennsylvania and the time period to post-WWII. Platonov's name was not mentioned in the credits of Maria's Lovers.
consummation, hometown, love, marriage, soldier, suicide-attempt, father