One of the most successful musical film comedies of the Stalin era, this Hollywood-inspired extravaganza was made by Sergej Eisenstein’s one-time colleague Grigorij Aleksandrov. The director gave the part of the music-loving postwoman Strelkova to his wife, Ljubov Orlova, who was revered by Russian audiences. When an invitation to compete in Moscow for a prize for amateur musicians arrives in a remote provincial town, Strelkova mobilizes the local musical talents against the opposition of bureaucrat Byvalov, who is played by Soviet star comedian Igor Iljinskij. The trip along the Volga to Moscow turns into a turbulent competition between Byvalov’s “Mississippi steamer” and the raft conveying Strelkova’s gifted crew, who are rewarded with a glorious triumph in Moscow: Beneath the Soviet coat of arms, a young pioneer sings the postwoman’s optimistic signature song, which now belongs to the nation’s popular heritage.
Caligari: 10.04. / 1.30 pm