Skip to main content

IN THE TOWN OF ‘S'

USSR, 1967 (MIFF 1968, Programme 14)

Director: Josif Heifitz

In this small town, the home of the Turkin family is regarded as something of a source of culture. Dmitri Ionych Startsev, the local doctor, is a frequent visitor. He is devoted to Katya, young daughter of the Turkins, but she refuses his proposal of marriage and departs from the province. Startsev turns to his personal prosperity—his practice flourishes and his wealth increases— but his prospects for happiness do not improve when Katya returns. Time passes. The noble thoughts and aspirations that once occupied him are gradually forgotten. He appreciates the danger he is in, inwardly he despises the pettiness of the people around him, but he does nothing about it. Finally he becomes one of them.

This simple and tragic story records an observation that troubled Chekhov all his life—the deterioration of the intelligentsia in the stifling atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russian towns. Director Heifitz previously made Chekhov's The Lady with the Little Dog: in his new film he has Chekhov himself appear to provide his thoughts on the consummation of human relations.

See also...

Flight

The strange and wonderful world of gliding recorded over the Rockies and their foothills. ... More »

CAPRICIOUS SUMMER

In an atmosphere of placid leisure and late-middle-aged tedium vitae, three provincial gentlemen accept their lot with philosophical detachment. Enter an acrobat-magician and his beautiful blonde ... More »

Traditions

New Year in the villages of the Moldavian region of Rumania is a festival on which the Christian tradition has made little impact. The pagan world survives apparently unalloyed, with Dionysian masks ... More »

The Redwoods

Sequoia Sempervirens, the giant everlasting redwood, is a link with the age of the dinosaurs. But the future of these trees is threatened. This film, a tribute to nature's awesome power to create, is ... More »

SQUIRE'S LOVES

This film offers continuing evidence that Swiss film-making is still maintaining the high standards first achieved by Alain Tanner and Claude Goretta in the late sixties. Wilfried Bolliger is a new ... More »

Orson Welles

A famous French documentary director has chosen to match his talents with those of a powerful subject who talks on his youth, his formative years, his life and work. Reichenbach on Welles on Welles ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director