Aleksandr Askoldov: Commissar (1967)


Starring Rolan Bykov, Nonna Mordiukova. Written by Aleksandr Askoldov, based on a Vasilii Grossman story. Score by Alfred Schnittke.
Description: This film was shelved by the Soviet government and released only as part of Gorbachev’s glasnost twenty years after it was made. It chronicles the story of a female Red Army commissar during the Civil War. She gets pregnant and is billeted with a Jewish family until the baby comes. As the Reds retreat, she is faced with a choice: abandon her baby and retreat with the Reds, or stay with the child she loves and endanger herself, the baby and the Jewish family once the Whites arrive. In this scene the commissar, soon to give birth, is forced upon the home of a Jewish tinsmith, played by Rolan Bykov, whose resentful family will eventually nurture and shelter the Communist woman.

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