A Report From Lebyazhye / Iz Lebyazhego soobshchayut (Vasiliy Shukshin, 1960)


Iz Lebyazhego soobshchayut is a student diploma film of a well-know in narrow circles soviet actor, writer and director Vasiliy Shukshin. As the story goes, the head of an administrative district finds out that there is a family affair going on – a married man fell in love with another woman, also married, and intends to proceed with it. He goes out of his way to solve the situation, while trying to juggle with his actual responsibilities at the same time.

This film is an example of so called socialistic realism (an approach to cinema, when what is shown is not a current reality, but what one believes the reality should look like provided that it corresponds with the communist party’s vision), but a soft one, without downright hosanning to the communists, and implemented by a rather talented director at that. Unfortunately, that doesn’t save the story from being complete bullshit; if anything, it reveals that even everyday perception of the implanted ideology is totally wrong at the very core of things.

It all presented like a typical story, where the only victims are those suffering from spouses’ infidelity, while everything else eventually gets a fair resolution. But if you look at things objectively, what you see is the system where the state is incapable of supplying the workers with vital spare parts for the machinery, but finds it possible to interfere with the most private spheres of human lives, like the family relations. And the worst thing – nobody seems to understand how messed-up that is, and least of all the director.

That being said, I should also mention that technically the film is implemented quite well. The characters are stereotypical, but the acting is fine, as well as the direction. All in all, though, it’s more like a document of the epoch, or at least – of the epoch’s desired image, but it’s not really art, as the story only slightly correlates with the truth of life.


Time: ~31m
Released in: 1960
Directed by: Vasiliy Shukshin
Written by: Vasiliy Shukshin
Performed by: Nikolay Grabbe, Leonid Kuravlyov, Vassili Makarov, Irina Radchenko, Vasiliy Shukshin, Emma Tsesarskaya
Entertaining quality4 out of 5
Art quality:  3 out of 5

IMDB page: link

(v. 4.8)
®shoomow, 2017
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