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DECLARATION OF LOVE

USSR, 1978 (MIFF 1979)

Director: Ilya Averbach

Filippok, an elderly writer, visits his wife, Zinochka, in hospital. He presents her with an edition of his new book, which is a collection of autobiographical reminiscences. The film then moves into the past and shows episodes from the writer's life.

The Civil War is raging. The young Filippok meets the woman who will become the centre of his life. He falls deeply in love with her, but she doesn't take the developing affair too seriously. However, later on, she agrees to marry him.

He becomes a journalist and confronts the problems of an artist committed to propagate the cause of the Revolution. He is threatened, harassed, and only luck keeps him alive. His newspaper sends him into the country, and he witnesses the abject poverty of the people. Businesslike and practical, Zinochka guides and encourages him in his work.

The years pass, and Filippok's great love for Zinochka is unchanged. She, however remains cool; flirts with other men, and Filippok is deeply hurt when he catches her with a lover.

Their son dies in an accident — Zinochka blames herself for his death, and in an attempt to obliterate all traces of her past, leaves Filippok.

During World War II, he is assigned to the Front. Here, he meets a publisher acquaintance, Gladyshev, who was once involved with his wife, The two men become friends and, together, they face the horrors of war. Gladyshev is mortally wounded, and before dying, he tells Filippok the painful truth that his wife has never loved him.

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