Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Vladimir Menshov: 'Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears' (1980)

Vladimir Menshov: Москва слезам не верит / Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980). Extra hip factor: watched and discussed by Claudia, Elizabeth and Paige in FX's The Americans (Season 6, Episode 3, first aired on April 11, 2018).

It's 1958. Antonina, living in a Moscow worker's dorm with her friends Katerina and Lyudmila/Liudmilla, soon marries Nikolai and moves with him to the country. We next follow the antics of the other two through thick and thin.
Part 2 jumps ahead twenty years, to near the end of the 1970s. We drop in on the three comrades and see where they're at, following them into a new cycle.

A marvelous gem of a movie, providing insight into Russian cultural norms and the state of the Soviet Union at two points in its history. One cannot help but compare and contrast gender, socio-economic class, manners and outlook with other societies then and now. Both fascinating and entertaining.

A presidential note from 1985:

"Reagan Is Urged to See a Film

In the meantime, White House officials said, Mr. Reagan continues to read background memorandums prepared by Government experts on the Soviet Union. They cover everything from the personalities of Soviet leaders, Russian history, culture, foreign trade, internal economic situation and the like.

The officials said they continued to search for ways to give Mr. Reagan a ''feel'' for Soviet life and were considering asking him to watch a Soviet film or two. One possibility is the film titled ''Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,'' a tale of three young women who come to Moscow in the late 1950's with hopes and dreams and what became of them."

From: Leslie H. Gelb, "THREE PAST PRESIDENTS MAY BRIEF REAGAN," The New York Times, November 5, 1985. Link here.

Today's Rune: Warrior. 

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