Pioner Cinema » Once Upon a Time in the Provinces
  • Drama
  • |
  • 2008
  • |
  • 112 min.
  • |
  • Russia
  • director: Ekaterina Shagalova
  • cast: Yulia Peresild, Lyubov Tolkalina, Elvira Bolgova, Aleksandr Golubev, Aleksandr Ratnikov, Sabina Akhmedova, Leonid Bichevin, Sakhat Dursunov, Viktoria Poltorak, Aleksey Poluyan, Nataliya Soldatova
  • language: Russian
  • restrictions: 18+

Pioner Cinema and Kommersant Weekend present "The History of Russian Cinema in 50 Films," dedicated to the Year of Russian Film. The curator will be film critic and Weekend author Mikhail Trofimenkov.

A proletarian tragedy

A loose adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire” to the contemporary life of Russia. Nastya is a successful actress and star of several television shows, forced by some unclear reason to move from Moscow to the provincial city where her sister lives with her domineering and humiliating military husband. The city turns out to be full of people who have no real plans, no hopes for the future, and no opportunities for self-realization. Moreover, the city’s residents are a small but fairly unified community that is ready to defend against any strangers, be they skinheads or visiting actresses.

“Once Upon a Time in the Provinces” was immediately written off as “black humor.” After all, a whole cast of stereotypes are at work here. If the film’s characters drink heavily and sleep around (while the main character brutally beats his wife); if their everyday life is miserable and work is difficult; if the only “intellectual” is the local policewoman, Lena, who keeps herself from going crazy with feng shui and philosophical poetry, then what could the film be save for “black humor?” In fact, it can be great deal more. It can be a fable about how no one era can disappear into oblivion, but only squeeze itself in with others, both older and newer into an absurd but bloody whole. It can be a story of reckless love. It can, ultimately, be a tragedy of fate.” – Mikhail Trofimenkov

Admission to the screening is free with advance registration. The film will be shown from the 35mm original. The film will be introduced by film scholar Denis Gorelov.


  • FB
  • FB
show all