Set in 1935 in the fictional provincial town of Unchansk, Guerman’s first film to receive wide international exposure–and his only to include several color sequences–unfolds through the prism of time, as a present-day narrator recalls his youth in a crowded communal flat whose residents include the socially awkward police inspector of the title. Adapted from popular stories written by Guerman’s own father, My Friend Ivan Lapshin wryly chronicles the material deprivations and minor satisfactions of communal life during the time in which Stalin’s cult of personality became a routine part of everyday life…and gangsters still ran rampant. Part adventure, part social commentary, and always shot through with Guerman’s signature ironic wit, Ivan Lapshin is a richly complex memory film about a “forgotton” era. NOT ON DVD.

  • Directed By Aleksei Guerman
  • 1984
  • USSR
  • 35mm
  • 100 minutes