Trial Of The Road (Proverka Na Dorogakh) (1986)
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During the Great Patriotic War, Lazarev(Vladimir Zamanskiy) is a sergeant, who having once defected to the German army, now surrenders to the Russian partisans in the person of young Mitka(Gennadi Dyudyayev). While most of them are wary around him, not even offering a cigarette(probably for the best since they stunt your growth) and throwing him in the same cell with a young man who claims he was gangpressed onto a German firing squad, their leader Ivan Lokotkov(Rolan Bykov) sees some promise in putting Lazarev to use. "Trial of the Road" is in general terms a movie about second chances.(Is it just me or does the name Lazarev sound like Lazarus?) This is part of the cerebral debate running through the movie, most of which occurs with the partisans on the run, making it harder for them to decipher who is on whose side. In any case, with a healthy disdain for authority, they are not so much interested in abstract concepts like patriotism but in defending their land, so do not laugh at the man who runs after his cow. Because his face is one of many memorable images, including an expert use of close-ups, in this endearing and suspenseful film.
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