Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

"Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears" has been around since it won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981. I ordered my copy from Kino Video, a New York company that specializes in restoration and distribution of old films, foreign films, and art films. If you see this as one of the available titles in your rental listings, I highly recommend it.

You will be treated to a story of three young Russian women who have come to Moscow to seek their fortunes. Each has her own distinctive personality and a game plan for her own future. They are roommates in a dormitory, they work, study and meet prospective mates. Each takes a totally separate path, each with varying degrees of success.

One is quite the conniver and because of one of her more complicated schemes, two of them take irrevocable detours in their plans. The conniver is almost the comic relief, as she never changes and, because this movie is character driven, you will smile to see her, years later, still in there swinging, no matter what difficulties life has thrown her way.

The joy of this movie is watching 20 years pass; admiring the skill of the actors who age appropriately, with visible changes in how they walk, stand and sit, what they wear, their hair styles, etc. The men grow bald, the women gain weight, children are born, hopes are dashed, com- promises are made, in general, life has happened. This is life in Russia: the housing, the food, the clothing, the factories, the trains and the subways. Because you will not recognize one face, you will be con- vinced that you are seeing that person...in real life! No one has a new dress for each situation. You are seeing REAL life.

You become deeply involved in one woman's life and you cheer her from the sidelines; the way she has struggled for some degree of success; the way she has raised her child; her attempts to have relationships; all the time maintaining her friendship with the other two women who are living out their own choices. One with a "country boy" and the conniver with a hockey star. Ironically, the most successful one suddenly discovers that her success has become a liability...therein lies the last quarter of the film.

This was recommended by my Swedish friend and I am very grateful to him. I know some of you have already seen this, but I very much enjoyed a second viewing after my own DVD arrived. You might too...

Great English captions; no blowie uppie stuff....

This review was first published April 11, 2007.