Archive of films A Driver for Vera / Voditěl dlja Very

2004, 114 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2005

This demythologising look at the Khrushchev era employs a story about a chauffer named Viktor who, under the pressure of circumstances, marries into a general’s family only to become an unintentional witness to its demise. The hypocritical realities of the regime pervade even the level of the heroes’ purely intimate experiences. 


1962. General Serov leaves Moscow with a warning and a new handsome chauffer named Viktor. At a villa near the Sevastopol naval base, Viktor inadvertently observes the general’s limping daughter, Vera, seeking in vain to get an abortion. The general suspects the KGB of trying to accuse him of an accident for which he is blameless, and he takes countermeasures. He senses that in Viktor he has a devoted protector and, promising him a career, he requests that Viktor marry Vera. She at first demurs but ultimately agrees. When the KGB starts putting pressure on the general, Viktor manifests exceptional courage.... The anti-Soviet pathos of the film rests on the thorough applicationof a Khrushchev-era film style and the sophisticated intermingling of political events with the film’s gentle intimate level. The confrontation between the lifestyles of the elite and ordinary people offered the cast a wonderful opportunity to express the typical mentality and character of the protagonists.

About the director

Pavel Chukhrai (b. 1946, Moscow) graduated in camera (1971) from Moscow’s Film School (VGIK) and then in direction (1974). He has shot the films Remember Sometimes (Ti inogda vspominay, 1978), People in the Ocean (Lyudi v okeane, 1980; Special Prize at the Moscow IFF), A Canary Cage (Kletka dlya kanareyek, 1983) and Zina-Zinulya (1986). Three made-for-TV movies followed: That’s How You’ll Remember Me (Zapomnite menya takoy, 1978), The Key (Klyuch, 1992; for Channel 7), and the documentary Hawk (Jastreb, 1993) about controversial politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. His writer-director effort The Thief (Vor, 1997; screened at Karlovy Vary) took a Gold Medal at Venice, was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and was honoured at the Russian National Film Awards with five Nikas, including Best Director and Best Film. The documentary Children from the Abyss (Deti iz bezdny, 2000) is Russia’s contribution to Steven Spielberg’s international project on the Holocaust.


Igor Tolstunov Production Company
, 101 000, Moscow
Tel: +7 095 937 7195
Fax: +7 095 937 7193

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Pavel Chukhrai
Screenplay: Pavel Čuchraj/Pavel Chukhrai
Dir. of Photography: Igor Klebanov
Music: Eduard Artěmjev/Eduard Artemyev
Editor: Olga Grinšpun/Olga Grinshpun
Producer: Igor Tolstunov, Alexander Rodnjanskij/Alexander Rodnyansky, Michail Zilberman/Mikhail Zilberman
Production: Igor Tolstunov Production Company, koprodukce/coproduction: Channel One Russia, Channel 1+1 Ukraine
Cast: Igor Petrenko, Aljona Babenko/Alyona Babenko, Bogdan Stupka, Andrej Panin/Andrei Panin, Jekatěrina Judina/Ekaterina Yudina
Contact: Igor Tolstunov Production Company


Pavel Chukhrai

Film Director

Igor Tolstunov


Mikhail Zilberman


Alexander Rodnyansky

Producer, Producer

Anna Gudkova

Festival Organizer


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