BLUE SKY, VIRGIN EARTH. In the opening shot of Jiri Menzel's latest film, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, the camera soars high above a pastoral horizon. Farmland, forests, and an idyllic Russian village stand hundreds of feet below. As summer air rushes past, we come closer and closer to land, until the surface becomes a composite of innumerable details. The serenity of distance gives way to the dust and grit of the world at eye level. Now life must take its course.

You have reached a premium content area of TOL. To read this entire article please login if you are already a TOL subscriber.

Not a subscriber?

Annual membership costs only $55 per year for individuals ($33 for students) and organizational subscriptions start at $141 per year.

Subscribe today for access to:
Full access to the website, including premium articles videos, country reports and searchable archives (containing over 25,000 articles).

You can subscribe here to gain access to the entire website.