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At Home among Strangers, Stranger at Home

Свой среди чужих, чужой среди своих
Director: Nikita Mikhalkov

USSR, Action film, 1974, 93 min

During the Russian Civil War, Shilov, a Red Army soldier, is assigned to guard an armoured car carrying gold needed to pay for food. While barrelling across the steppes, the train is robbed and Shilov is taken prisoner. Even though he had bravely fought against the bandits, Shilov is suspected to be working for them and he infiltrates the bandits' camp to clear his name and recover the money. Heavily influenced by American Westerns, this film focuses much more on the camaraderie of its characters than on the battling ideologies of Red against White that so often dominate other Red Westerns. One of the top Soviet actors, Nikita Mikhalkov decided to turn his hand to directing and came up with this remarkable, action-packed Red Western that remains for many critics his finest film.

 
About the director:
 
Russian film actor and director Nikita Mikhalkov was born in 1945 in Moscow, into a family of celebrated painters and poets. An actor in theater and films since the age of 16, N. Mikhalkov also studied cinema at the Moscow's State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in the 1960s. He debuted as a director in 1970 with his diploma film “A Quiet Day at the End of the War” (Спокойный день в конце войны, 1970). He then returned to acting for a few years, finally unveiling his first full-length feature "At home among strangers, stranger at home" (Свой среди чужих, чужой среди своих) in 1974. An avowed idolater of playwrights of Anton Chekhov, N. Mikhalkov adapted Chekhov's very first play, “Platonov”, into the autumnal dramatic film “An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano” (Неоконченная пьеса для механического пианино, 1977). N. Mikhalkov won several awards for this effort, and would do so again for his subsequent films “Oblomov” (Несколько дней из жизни И. И. Обломова, 1980) and the Italian-produced “Dark Eye” (Очи чёрные, 1987). In 1995, a breathless N. Mikhalkov accepted the Best Foreign Picture Oscar for his “Burnt By the Sun” (Утомлённые солнцем, 1994).
 
Section: Red Westerns

Screenplay: Eduard Volodarsky, Nikita Mikhalkov

Dir. of Photography: Pavel Lebeshev

Music: Eduard Artemyev

Cast: Yoery Bogatyrev, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Sergei Shakurov, Aleksandr Porokhorshchikov, Nikolai Pastukhov