7.7/10
1,054
20 user 10 critic

The Commissar (1967)

Komissar (original title)
Klavdia Vavilova, a Red Army cavalry commissar, is waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy. She stays with a Jewish family to give birth and is softened somewhat by the experience of family life.

Director:

Writers:

, (story "V gorode Berdicheve")
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Klavdia Vavilova
...
Yefim Mahazannik
Raisa Nedashkovskaya ...
Maria Mahazannik
Lyudmila Volynskaya ...
The Grandmother
...
The Commandant
Lyubov Kats ...
(as Lyuba Kats)
Pavel Levin ...
(as Pavlik Levin)
Dmitri Kleyman ...
(as Dima Kleyman)
Marta Bratkova
Igor Fishman
Sergey Nikonenko
Otar Koberidze
Viktor Shakhov ...
(as V. Shakhov)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leonid Reutov ...
(as L. Reutov)
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Storyline

Klavdia Vavilova, a Red Army cavalry commissar, is waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy. She stays with a Jewish family to give birth and is softened somewhat by the experience of family life. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1988 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Commissar  »

Box Office

Gross:

$388,029 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1986, due to glasnost policies, the Conflict Commission of the Soviet Film-makers Union recommended the re-release of the movie, but Goskino refused to act. After a plea from Aleksandr Askoldov at the Moscow Film Festival, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union was imminent, the film was reconstructed and finally released in 1988. The film is set in Ukraine, and those who know the language will spot the Ukrainisms in Rolan Bykov's lines. See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is cinema
19 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A film on the same echelon as Kilmov's Come And See, Jancsó's The Red and The White, Shepitko's Ascent and the great Russian silents as well as the vanguard 60s cinema. This is one of those films where image and sound form a perfect marriage committing to screen an onslaught of ingenious, uproarious and emotional imagery marred with wonderful sound design and score, all strung together by ingenious editing. This is cinema.

The story is one of a Red Army woman officer during the Russian civil war, who ends up pregnant and is forced to live with a Ukrainian Jewish family, who has been used and abused countless times by the red and the whites. This is a story of humans coming together and setting aside their differences and understanding each other amongst suffering and strife. It is a test of loyalty to one's self, one's family, one's country.

Commissar was banned on its initial completion and writer/director Aleksandr Askoldov was kicked out of the Communist party and not allowed to work in the film business in any form again. It wasn't until 1988 that the ban was lifted and the soundtrack remastered/re-done along with a reconstruction of the picture, which was fairly intact. But not until now has it been wildly available so I really would urge anyone who enjoys Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Tarr or any of the before mentioned films to seek this one out. The US DVD from Kino is probably their best transfer yet; very pristine and sharp with no a lot of dirt or scratches, although it is from a PAL source so there are some ghosting effects on large movements, making the picture look simultaneously in slow mo and normal frame rate


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