The Shooting Party (1978)
Мой ласковый и нежный зверь
Genre: Drama, Literary Adaptation
Director: Emil Loteanu
Cast: Galina Belyaeva, Oleg Yankovskiy, Kirill Lavrov, Leonid Markov
An intoxicating viewing experience that feels like a hallucinatory excursion through an otherwise traditional story of innocence corrupted. Skillfully adapted from Chekhov’s little-known second novel (written in 1884 when he was 24 years old) the film is rich in its imagery and sense of heedless, pre-revolutionary decadence. The film tells of the tragic fate of a pretty, naive but ambitious peasant girl who is willingly led astray by three men who take an interest in her – the bored gentry that gather on one of those great provincial Chekhovian estates. The film is a justifiable classic celebrated for its remarkable performances, high levels of formal discipline and a loving investigation into Chekhov’s favourite themes in this prescient work of boundless passion.