Synopsis by Mark Deming
A young man learns a tough but valuable lesson about the importance of teamwork and the evils of self-centered ambition in this drama filmed in the Soviet Union during a (relatively) liberal period of the Khruschev regime. After the traumatic death of his father, teenage Sasha (Oleg Tabakov) is taken in by Ignat Gmyzin (Nikolai Sergeyev), the leader of one of the area's leading collective farms. Ignat is a strong believer in both socialism and the collective farming system, and he and his comrades work hard to make their harvest a rich and productive one. However, Pavel Mansurov (Viktor Avdyushko), the farm's liaison with the Communist Party officials, is growing weary of the incompetence and self-serving actions of his superiors, especially the regional party leader (Ivan Pereverzev). Director Mikhail Shveitser originally filmed Sasha Vstupayet V Zhizn as Tugoy Uzel; however, the original version's portrayal of corruption among party official caused it to be pulled from release by government officials. Shveitser was then ordered to recut the film, and rewrite the character of the party official; for the second version of the film, Ivan Pereverzev replaced Vladimir Emelyanov. Prints of both versions survive, and both were shown as part of a major retrospective on Soviet cinema at the 2000 Locarno Film Festival.
collective, Communism, Communist-party, farming, grief