Proverka na dorogah


Proverka na dorogah

Trial on the Road

Aleksey German
UdSSR, 1971
96min, russOmeU

Bild: Gosfilmofond

Proverka na dorogah

Aleksey German
UdSSR, 1971
, 96min, russOmeU

Rolan Bikov
Vladimir Zamanskiy
Oleg Borisov
Anatoliy Solonitsyn
Maja Bulgakova
Èduard Wolodarskiy
basierend auf Yuriy German's Roman Operatsiya
Jakov Sklyanskiy
Anna Babushkina
Isaak Shvarts

Film Studio Lenfilm
Print courtesy of Gosfilmofond

Aleksey German is one of the very few directors featured in this retrospective whose bodies of work have already been closely scrutinized and incorporated into the mainstream film canon. In the case of German, his stubbornness certainly helped bring about his international fame. In a career that spanned over six decades, German completed only six features, with almost every single one becoming a synonym for production troubles and controversy. His 1971 solo directorial debut PROVERKA NA DOROGAH is a case in point here, having been shelved for fifteen years for its critical depiction of the Great Patriotic War, specifically its refusal to draw clear lines between the officially designated categories of heroes and traitors. Based on a story by the director’s father Yuriy German, who experienced war first hand, PROVERKA NA DOROGAH centers on a conflicted individual (allegedly based on a real person) who morphs from a Red Army sergeant into a Nazi collaborator, and then back into a Soviet soldier, this time a partisan. Regardless of how sincere he is in his last transformation and with German clearly on his side, some of his comrades cannot forgive him. Its groundbreaking psychological complexity aside, PROVERKA NA DOROGAH also dazzles as the arrival of a major visual talent. Everything that would later become German’s acclaimed and admired trademark style is already in evidence here: impossibly long and complex plan sequences, adorned with breathtaking (black-and-white) widescreen cinematography; baroque mise-en-scène, bursting with countless details; elaborate soundscapes; and a prevailing atmosphere of doom.