Nov 162009


I don’t normally care much for movies about the lives and manners of aristocratic families. But this family in Idiot is fun to watch. I’m not sure how much of the credit should go to Dostoevsky and how much to the filmmakers, but together they made these people interesting. It isn’t just the individuals, but the inter-generational interactions that draw us in. There is some of your typical youthful rebellion, but the whole of the relationship between parents and children goes a lot deeper than that.

In this scene, General Yepanchin (nicely played by Oleg Basilashvili) while not clueless, is also not quick to understand what’s happening with his daughter. His wife, played by Inna Mikhailovna Churikova, is trying to signal him behind her back not to take her reaction wrongly.

Churikova’s character is one of several highlights of this TV series. She’s made up to look like a severe aristocratic mother, and has moments when she does indeed act the part of a domineering matriarch. But even when she does she’s an instant away from being as childlike (in many ways) as Prince Myshkin had judged her to be. This is definitely not a stereotypical role.


  • In every own film character, Inna Churikova is unique and… as if a typical at the same time. I mean that she does own heroine is very recognizable as for a social context, and at the same time she shows that her film character has a double bottom, some oddity.

    Btw, she is brilliant theatre actress and works in Mark Zakharov’s The Lenkom Theatre.

    Because you are interested in social history of Russia (watching the movies), I recommend her two films:

    1. The pre-revolutionary melodrama “Vassa” (1983) based on Maxim Gorky’s play – where she playes a magnate of factories. Very psychological!
    video fragment –
    (seems, no Eng. subs)

    2. “Proshu slova (I wish to speak)” (1975)
    video fragment –
    (seems, no Eng. subs)

    Here is a quote from the review:

    “In Proshu slova (1975) Churikova played Yelizaveta Uvarova, an idealist and hard working council official in a provincial Russian town, eager to improve the poor living conditions in the worker’s quarters. Uvarova’s contradictions were representative of the problems faced by what has been described by critics as “a Soviet superwoman,” one who is in control of her career and ambitions but who nonetheless remains lonely and unhappy in her personal life. The film, which was one of the Russian examples of what in an Eastern European context was known as a cinema of moral anxiety, introduced a new kind of critical realist reflection on the Soviet socialist reality.

    Read more:

    both movies direcred by Gleb Panfilov, her husband

  • Reticulator

    Thanks, Alexander. I think I’m a fan of hers already.