Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Lidia Bobrova (Hey, You Wild Geese) made this Russian comedy-drama set in a snow-covered rural Russian village where agricultural leader Chapurin attempts to bring an end to the town's alcoholic idleness by posting lists of village drunks. Typical is kindly, middle-aged cattle-herder Skuridin, vodka-drenched as he faces his family responsibilities and his nagging wife. The locals continue to swig, even after widowed bootlegger Anna stirs up a concoction so potent it kills. Equally ignored is Chapurin's next gambit -- posting a list of drink-related deaths. Seeking a husband for her unmarried daughter, Anna corresponds with prison inmate Konstantin. Despite a fire, the daily routines -- a birth, and a birthday party -- continue along, but the sudden arrival of ex-con Konstantin, a man accustomed to using force to get what he wants, threatens to stir up some action -- at least until the usual alcoholic apathy sets in again. Shown at the 1998 San Francisco Film Festival.