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I Am Twenty (Lenin's Guard)

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Original title
Mne dvadtsat let (Zastava Iliycha) (I Am Twenty)
Running time
189 min.
Soviet Union  (USSR) Soviet Union (USSR)
Marlen Khutsiev, Gennadi Shpalikov
Nikolai Sidelnikov
Margarita Pilikhina (B&W)
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Gorky Film Studios
Drama | Teen/coming-of-age
Synopsis / Plot
The film follows the recently demobilized Sergei, a young man who returns to his Moscow neighborhood after two years of military service. We see the aspirations and realities of his tightly-knit group of friends, as well as the everyday lives of other Soviet citizens.

Three young friends meet again in post-war Moscow and discover a new society characterised by openness, liberalisation and optimism. Led by Nikita Khrushchev, the era was characterised by new enthusiasm about Socialist society and its achievements.

The film is notable for incorporating New Wave elements: non-actors and non-staged scenes, including documentary footage of a poetry evening by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and other prominent Soviet poets living in Moscow at that time, as well as a party scene with a young Andrey Tarkovsky.

1964: Venice Film Festival: Jury Special Prize
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