Black Rose Is an Emblem of Sorrow, Red Rose Is an Emblem of Love (1989)

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In the heady days just prior to the collapse of the Soviet system in Russia, a satirical, anarchistic comedy such as this was just the sort of film to attract huge audiences. Told with the rapid-fire imagery and insistent soundtrack of a music video, it tells the story of Aleksandra (Tatyana Drubich), a self-centered 20-year old girl who escapes from her tiny apartment after she has been locked into by her father it to make her study for her exams. Instead, she parties with her boyfriend Vladimir (Alexander Abdulov) who is perfectly happy to make love to her until he discovers she is pregnant. Nearby, Mitya (Mikhail Rozanov), a suddenly rich fifteen year old boy, shares a flat with his crazed roommate, an Abyssinian given to brewing his own alcoholic beverages. Somehow, Mitya hears of Allesandra's predicament and offers to marry her - which pleases her parents a great deal (after all, he's rich). Most of the fun in this movie comes from in-jokes at the expense of the government's sacred cows, and jokes at the expense of the movie itself and its characters. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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