Russia Cinema A Slave of Love (1975)

A Slave of Love (1975)


Mosfilm, 1975

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov

Screenplay: Friedrich Gorenstein, Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky

Cinematography: Pavel Lebeshev

Composer: Eduard Artemiev

Cast: Elena Solovei, Alexander Kalyagin, Rodion Nakhapetov, Oleg Basilashvili, Konstantin Grigoriev, Nikolai Pastukhov, Vera Kuznetsova, Gottlieb Roninson, Inna Ulyanova, Yevgeny Steblov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Mikhail Chigarev, Alexander Yakovlev

Box-office: 11.2 million viewers

Awards: Tehran 76, Mosfilm 76, Hyères 77

The melodramatic subject – love between an actress and a film director – is based on the life of Vera Kholodnaya and unfolds on the background of the Russian civil war. Olga Voznesenskaya is a star of the early silent movies, while Victor Pototsky is a film director and head of an underground group of revolutionaries. A crew from Moscow is shooting a drama called A Slave of Love in a small south Russian town occupied by White forces. The two main heroes fall in love on the film set, amid the turmoil of the movie business – the personality clashes, the director’s frayed nerves, the unfinished script.

Victor makes an illegal film of arrests and executions, attempting to show Olga the true meaning of the events taking place in Russia. Although a diva and capricious child of the fin de siè?le, Olga slowly begins to understand the true horrors and violence of real life – something she had always been sheltered from before. She helps the man she loves and once even saves his life.

In the end, Victor dies and the head of the White forces is killed in retaliation. Only he is shot not by an underground revolutionary, but by Olga Voznesenskaya, whose words in the final scenes sound like a summons to all people: “Sirs, you are just like animals… Be human!” This is the message of the film.

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