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HOW YOUNG WE WERE THEN

USSR, 1985 (MIFF 1986)

Director: Mikhail Belikov

American Fifties nostalgia has reached saturation point. HOW YOUNG WE WERE THEN is a welcome change of perspective: the fifties Russian style Here, drainpipe pants and American dance music is uncool. scalpers sell tickets to rock concerts and those who wish on a shooting star have in fact wished on the sputnik. Underlying the teenage cavortings are some surprising, if somewhat peripheral, social observations on Soviet life. The plot is routine: the irresistible young couple who have been sweethearts since their youth, but part during their student days. Romance, however, wins the day. Writer/director Mikhail Belikov uses comedy and charm to revive the cliches. and the result is a film which could well be one of the popular successes of this year's festival.

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