Director: Avdotya Smirnova
Cast: Fyodr Bondarchuk, Kseniya Rappoport, Boris Khlebnikov
- Winner Best Actor & Best Actress (2011 Golden Eagle Awards)
A glorious romantic comedy about the preservation of Russian cultural traditions in the face of rapid change. The smooth Deputy Minister of Culture, Petr Drozdov’s job involves being chauffeured around Russia cutting as much cultural spending as he can get away with. He arrives at a provincial museum estate dedicated to preserving the memory of an obscure Russian writer who had become famous mostly for his friendships with other famous writers of the 19th Century and for writing a book that no one reads anymore. Drozdov’s mission is simple: the region’s governor wants the 19th Century estate for himself and wants the Moscow minister to confirm that the current museum serves no useful purpose so that he may buy it. The museum is run by a dedicated bibliophile, Masha, who conducts worthy tours while waiting months to get paid a miserly wage. So when the suave Drozdov meets the grumpy Masha everything changes unexpectedly. They tussle passionately over the perennial Russian question of what is to be done about uncouth powerbrokers and the impractical intelligentsia. An improbably love story ensues that is a smart and moving comedy of manners.