Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Krylya
USSR, 1966. Mosfilm. Screenplay by Valentin Ezhov, Natalya Ryazantseva. Cinematography by Igor Slabnevich. Music by Roman Ledenyov. Production Design by Ivan Plastinkin. Costume Design by A. Dokuchayeva. Film Editing by L. Lysenkova.
A middle-aged headmistress of a Soviet school questions her methods after expelling a student who refuses to apologize to a classmate he shoved. She continues her daily tasks with care and precision, but goes in search of the young man when he disappears, all the while reconsidering her belief in the system that she has upheld for so long. As time passes, we delve deeper into her memories and find her haunted by her past as a heroic fighter pilot during the war. This early film by Larisa Shepitko has some creaky spots and awkward pacing–her technique would reach its apex by the time of her masterful, and sadly ultimate film, The Ascent–but it has much to recommend it. Its glimpse behind the iron curtain is thorough and unforgettable, with Mayya Bulgakova giving the film much of its power.