Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In the Siberian springtime, old Yermolay is surprised to find his oldest son Stepan on his doorstep. Sentenced to prison for participating in a drunken brawl, he has just escaped, three months before his scheduled release date. Family from the countryside all around gather to celebrate his arrival, though by evening a policeman has arrived to take him back to serve out his old term, plus a little extra for his escape. Following this episode, moments in the lives of Yermolay's other sons are shown. Maxim has spent all the time he was not on the job (he is a construction worker) looking for a special medicine for his mother. He runs into a solid wall of resistance from the medical establishment. His younger brother Ignace, who is a popular professional wrestler, simply phones around to a few of his friends, and gets the medicine easily. Vasily, the youngest, shows himself to be far stronger and quicker than his somewhat boastful wrestling brother. These simple and lyrical celebrations of the simple life of country-folk are characteristic marks of director Vasily Shukshin's work; this film is based on some of the director's published short stories.
alcoholism, escape, family, police, prison