Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

WITHOUT WITNESS
(Bez svideteley)

Year: 1983
Country: USSR
Run Time: 97 minutes

WITHOUT WITNESS

A gifted actor, writer and filmmaker, Nikta Mikhalkov is a consummate artist. Besides acting in many og his own films, he created memorable roles in such films as "Ruthless Romance" as well as "A Nest of Gentle Folk" and "Siberiade," both directed by his equally acclaimed brother, Andrei Konchalovsky. Mikhalkov's "Slave of Love," "Oblomov" and "Unfinished Piece for Player Piano" were brilliantly directed evocations fot he romantic past; WITHOUT WITNESS is a return to the man/woman relationships in contemporary Soviet life he first explored in "Five Evenings" in 1979. WITHOUT WITNESS is a 2-character drama set in a middle-aged woman's (Irina Kupchenko) apartment, where her ex-husband, played by Mikhail Ulyanov ("Private Life"), makes a surprise visit. He plans to emotionally blackmail his ex-wife, who is about to marry a man he anonymously informed on years ago. When he isn't drunkenly attempting seduction, he's bragging about the higher-class status of his remarriage, or breaking down in self-pity, recognizing his mediocrity. The ex-wife more than holds her own in the confrontation despite her obvious regret for the long gone, happier days depicted in the many family photos on the walls. The actors perfectly balance humor and anguished intensity in tour-de-force performances.



". . .A pyschological war-of-words in the best tradition of Chekhov and Gorky. It's also Nikita Mikhalkov's best film in a fast-rising career that places him now at the forefront of contemporary Soviet cinema." -Ron Holloway, Variety



"Irina Kupchenko and Mikhail Ulyanov are more than excellent, they are impeccable. Every shift of mood, inflection of voice, tiny frown is worked out, polished, faultless." -Yvette Biro, The Village Voice

Screenplay
Nitka Mikhalkov, Sofia Prokofyeva, Ramiz Fataliyev

Producer
Mosfilm

Cinematography
Pavel Lebeshev

Principal Cast
Irina Kupchenko, Mikhail Ulyanov

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