Alenka | Chicago Reader


The title character of Boris Barnet's lighthearted 1961 film is a plucky Soviet schoolgirl on a trip across the grand steppes of Kazakhstan in 1955. The episodic plot consists of flashbacks to the lives of her fellow travelers, including an idealistic dentist whose practice is complicated by primitive frontier facilities, and a married man whose wife, under the influence of Chekhov's “The Lady With a Dog,” buys a dog that later rescues her from a blizzard. In celebrating the frontier spirit, Barnet blends gorgeous scenery and expressively lit sets with a peppy, endearing score by Kirill Molchanov. In Russian with subtitles. 88 min.


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