March 27, 2012

Happy Tues. Nice day here, +10 degrees. It got up to +38 yesterday afternoon and some melting ensued.

We watched a movie from Netflix called Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears, which won the Oscar for the best foreign language film of 1980 (1981?). The plot is three young women in Moscow 1958 are workers in factories and live in a workers’ dormitory. Apartments were difficult and expensive to obtain. They all hope to meet Mr. Rightsky. One settles for a humble worker, one hopes to hit the jackpot by marrying rich, and the star of the movie, Katrina, has a brief affair with a TV cameraman who skeedaddles when she becomes pregnant. Katerina is an enterprising worker and becomes a technician at the factory. Fast forward 20 years and Katerina is running a factory and lives with her beautiful young daughter in a nice apartment. She drives her own car. She still knows her friends from earlier years. The one who married is happy with children. The one who hoped to hit the jackpot has gone through two divorces and is still looking.

Then a man enters Katerina’s life, a tool and die maker who is smart, manly, handsome, likes to cook, but paternalistic. After a brief romance he learns that Katerina makes more money than he does and he leaves to go on a drinking binge. Enter husband of old friend, who tracks down the errant man, gets drunk with him, and assures him Katerina is not stuck up. Happy ending, sort of. The pleasure of the film is many moments of humor and pathos, as well as a long look at Soviet life in the years before Glasnost. We liked the film a lot, but it was not widely reviewed. Recommended as a period piece with some good acting and considerable humor.

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