Archive of films Wings / Krylya

1966, 80 min

Section: Tribute to Larisa Shepitko
Year: 2015

Set twenty years after the war, this subtle story of former fighter pilot Nadezhda Petrukhina is one of the most eloquent of the intellectually-leaning testimonies typical of 1960s European cinema. Using innovative film language, the director endeavours to trace the causes of her heroine’s existential crisis.


The film’s title is both symbolic and wholly specific, since the protagonist of the story, Nadezhda Stepanovna Petrukhina, was a young fighter pilot who, alongside her peers, showed great courage during the dangerous air operations they undertook. Twenty years have passed since the end of the war which claimed the lives of her friends, among them the pilot Mitya, her great love, and now Nadezhda has no-one who shares her memories. She can’t complain about the various public honours and roles she is given; nevertheless, we find her in a situation where, pressured by circumstances, she concedes with surprise and bitterness that the present has no time for the past, and that war heroism doesn’t command due respect from the young generation. Nadezhda’s wings have been torn from her – at least, that’s how she perceives the almost tangible barrier between herself and everyone around her, without realising that her behaviour as an infallible and resolute woman is largely to blame. Along with the evidence set before us, the director also uses subtle psychological details to document the mounting crisis, and thanks to an uncommonly sober and convincing performance from the lead actress the effect is highly authentic. The impression of ordinariness is reinforced by black-and-white lensing that accommodates a number of fragments of prosaic urban life, and by the precedence of real sounds over the music accompanying the scenes. Larisa Shepitko, then 28 years old, shot not only a starkly truthful film about the common lot of heroes outliving their time, but this is also a remarkably mature study of human solitude and the reasons we descend into loneliness.

Zdena Škapová


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

Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Mosfilmovskaya Str. 1, 119 992, Moscow
Tel: +7 095 143 9700
Fax: +7 095 938 2083

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Larisa Shepitko
Director: Larisa Shepitko
Screenplay: Valentin Yezhov, Natalya Ryazantseva
Dir. of Photography: Igor Slabnevich
Music: Roman Ledenev
Editor: L. Lysenkova
Art Director: Ivan Plastinkin
Producer: V. Maslov
Production: Mosfilm
Cast: Maya Bulgakovova, Zhanna Bolotovova, Vladimir Gorelov, Yevgenyj Yevstegneyev
Sales: Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Contact: National Film Archive


Briana Čechová

Film Institution Rep.

Anton Klimov


Michal Bregant

Film Institution Rep., Cinema Representative, Distributor

Barbora Kinkalová


Andrea Czesaná

Film Institution Rep.

Zuzana Štefunková

Film Institution Rep., Sales Agent


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