Little Vera review – nudity and sex behind the iron curtain

the Guardian | 6/21/2018 | Peter Bradshaw
‘I see a big beautiful Soviet feeling being born here …” This is what a teenage poet called Lenka gleefully announces when she realises that her friend Vera is in love. She is the little Vera of the title, which can ambiguously mean “a little hope” or “little hope”. The feeling that’s being born isn’t particularly big or or even very Soviet. But it might be beautiful.

The 1988 film Little Vera – to be revived in London – was a commercial hit, helped by its startling amount of nudity and sex. It was a triumph for its director Vasili Pichul and screenwriter Mariya Khmelik, who was Pichul’s wife, quickly renowned as the key perestroika movie, whose openness to westernised thrills of sex and rock’n’roll (no drugs, though) made it a key text of the times.

Vera - Natalya - Negoda - Teenager - Makeup

Vera, played by Natalya Negoda, is a liberated teenager, who has trendy makeup and hairstyle in the style of Debbie Harry, and takes a frank and uncomplicated pleasure in sex. She is rebelling against her parents, and against the stultifying non-expectations they have of her life beyond high school. And she is most importantly rebelling against the men in her life: against her grumpy, alcoholic dad (Yuri Nazarov), who flies into ugly, anti-Semitic rages when he has had a few, against her clingy, dull boyfriend Andrei (Andrei Fomin) about to do his military service and self-pityingly preoccupied with the fact that they haven’t had sex, and also against her pompous and self-satisfied brother Viktor (Alexander Alexeyev-Negreba), who left to be a doctor in Moscow and has now been summoned back to the family home to talk some sense into his little sister because her parents feel she has gone off the rails. She is even in a kind of rebellion against the man she falls in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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