Archive of films Check-up on the Roads / Proverka na dorogach

1971, 90 min

Section: World War II: 60 Years After
Year: 2005

German’s debut was made in 1971, but it didn’t reach cinemas until 15 years later, as a result of its apparently curious treatment of the theme of guilt and punishment under the complex conditions of the partisan war. This exclusive work also has an exclusive cast: appearing in the film are all the main players from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Roublev (1966).


Alexei German based his debut on the story “Operation Happy New Year ”  (Operatsia S novym godom, 1971), yet it reached cinemas with a fifteen-year delay, due to the apparently curious treatment of the theme of guilt and punishment under the complex conditions of the partisan war. The character of the guilty prisoner who, however, joined the partisans of his own free will, is seen against the differing life principles of two experienced warriors: Lokotkov s openness and understanding for human failings and Petushkas lack of trust and psyched-up sense of duty. Even today, the film is compelling both for its unconventional thematic treatment and its modern directing style, which German, a true artist of the black-and-white screen, developed in his subsequent films devoted to the war period. The director was only able to push four films past the censors in thirty years. What is also noteworthy about Check-up on the Roads is that it features all the main actors from Andrei Tarkovskys Andrei Roublev (Andrei Rublyov, 1966).

About the director

Alexei German (b. 1938, Leningrad) graduated in direction (1960) under Grigori Kozintsev. After stage experience, he worked for Lenfilm where, in 1971, he made his debut with an adaptation of a story written by his father, Yuri German, called Check-up on the Roads (Proverka na dorogakh). While audiences were unable to see this film straight after it was made, they did see his second film, Twenty Days Without War (Dvadtsat dnyey bez voyny, 1976), based on the short novel and screenplay by Konstantin Simonov which suggestively captures the atmosphere of military life in the home guard. Also based on a story by his father, the film My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Moy drug Ivan Lapshin, 1985) was made in 1982 and awarded the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno IFF (1986). German founded and headed SPIEF (Studio of First and Experimental Films) in 1990. The making of Khrustalyov, My Car! (Khrustalyov, mashinu!), about the celebrated doctor-general, which panned out over the years 1991-98, bears within it the entire weight of the history of one nation and its desire for final reconciliation. 


National Film Archive
Malešická 12, 130 00, Praha 3
Czech Republic

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: World War II: 60 Years After
Director: Alexey German
Screenplay: Eduard Volodarskij/Eduard Volodarsky
Dir. of Photography: Lev Kolganov
Music: Isaak Švarc/Isaak Shvarts
Editor: Anna Babuškina/Anna Babushkina
Production: Lenfilm Studio
Cast: Rolan Bykov, Anatolij Solonicyn/Anatoli Solonitsyn, Oleg Borisov
Contact: National Film Archive


Briana Čechová

Film Institution Rep.


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