UC Berkeley Library

Komissar(Soviet Union, 1967)

Director, Aleksandr Askoldov. Cast: Nonna Mordyukova, Rolan Bykov, Raisa Nedashkovskaya, Lyudmila Volynskaya, Vasili Shukshin. A dedicated soldier of the newly-formed Soviet army becomes pregnant has to make a choice between becoming a mother and the needs of the Revolution. Set against the Russian Civil War, Klavdia Vavilova has a reputation in her unit as a selfless fighter, but her unexpected situation not only forces her to temporarily leave her comrades, her commanders have placed her in the household of a family of Ukrainian Jews. As the humanity and suffering of those living outside the party apparatus becomes apparent, Vavilova's emotions grow increasingly conflicted. Her tenuous situation turns dire when her unit returns for her and she is confronted with a final chance to show her loyalty to the cause. Based on the short story : In the town of Berdichev by Vasili Grossman. Special features Disc 2: Interview with director Aleksandr Askoldov (40 min.); video interview excerpt of actress Nonna Mordyukova discussing the director (5 min.); video excerpt of actress Raisa Nedashkovskaya discussing the production (4 min.); video interview with actor Rolan Bykov (17 min.); filmography of Askoldov; "Case history of comrade A. Ya. Askoldov" denunciaton of the director by the USSR Cinematography Committee; "To the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee" letter from supporters of the director; "Documents" featuring extracts of official denunciations and dismissal of Askoldov by party officials (1 min.); interview with actress Raisa Nedashkovskaya (15 min.); "Press" readings of critic acclaim and review excerpts (3 min.); awards; "Recognition" posters and stills from film festivals (5 min.). 105 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:
Berghahn, Daniela. "Do the right thing? Female allegories of nation in Aleksandr Askoldov's Komissar (USSR, 1967/87) and Konrad wolf's Der Geteilte Himmel (GDR, 1964)" Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, Oct2006, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p561-577, 16p Full-text of this article / review is available:Berkeley users only
Monastireva-Ansdell, Elena. "Redressing the Commissar: Thaw Cinema Revises Soviet Structuring Myths." Russian Review, Apr2006, Vol. 65 Issue 2, p230-249, 20p Full-text of this article / review is available:Berkeley users only