|7:00 p.m.||Twenty Days Without War|
Alexei Guerman (U.S.S.R., 1976)
(Dvadtsaty dney bez voyny). A writer/soldier is given a brief leave from the front in Guerman’s most tender film, written by Soviet war poet Konstantin Simonov. Having survived the Battle of Stalingrad, Lopatin (Yuri Nikulin, a celebrated comedian) returns to Tashkent, and bears silent witness to his fellow travelers’ sorrows and desires. His encounter with a film company producing a movie based on his writing leaves a more bitter taste; his experience of war—marked by cold, fear, and desperation—is no match for their bombast. “We can’t have a film without a heroic act!” they proclaim; the real-life censors agreed, and banned this realist, antiwar work for nearly a decade.
• Written by Konstantin Simonov. Photographed by Valery Fedosov. With Yuri Nikulin, Ludmilla Gurchenko, Alexei Petrenko. (100 mins, In Russian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm)