Kira Moeratova / SUHH, 1967 / 96 min.
Kira Moeratova’s second feature film is a freely meandering portrait of a love triangle with Moeratova in the lead role. Object of desire is the attractive geologist Maxim, played by singer/underground hero Vladimir Visotski. The film was almost instantaneously banned by the Soviet censors.
Maxim, a free-spirited intellectual who criss-crosses the Soviet Union as a geologist, has two lovers. There is Valentina in town, with a successful career in the Soviet bureaucracy, and in one of the villages Maxim visits, there is Nadja, a beautiful, young, somewhat naive country girl.
Russia, 2021: in the wake of Putin’s latest election victory, reforms seem further away than ever. How different things were in the late 1950s, when Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s new leader following the death of Stalin, gave an impulse for change. This period, which came to be known as the ‘thaw’, gave rise to classics such as Ballad of a Soldier (1959, Grigorii Chukhrai) and The Cranes Are Flying (1957, Michail Kalatozov); a new generation of filmmakers (Tarkovsky, Shepitko) also stepped into the spotlight.