Uncle Vanya (1970)
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Cast: Irina Kupchenko, Innokenti Smoktunovsky, Sergei Bondarchuk, Irina Miroshnichenko
Based on Chekhov’s much-loved play this is a powerhouse production featuring some of Russia’s best actors of the era. Retired Professor Serebryakov returns to his deceased wife’s estate -- with his new wife, Yelena, in tow. Prior to his return, the Professor received a stipend from his brother-in-law, “Uncle Vanya” who lives on a meager salary and now resents the Professor. When the Professor arrives with Yelena, she becomes an object of obsession for Uncle Vanya and a cause for upheaval in the measured country life. This is an exceedingly graceful, beautifully acted production that highlights Chekhov as Russia’s saddest, gentlest, funniest and most compassionate playwright.