A Game to Win a Man. Nikita Mikhalkov's 'At Home Among Strangers, A Stranger Among His Own'
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Nikita Mikhalkov's full-length feature debut 'At Home Among Strangers, A Stranger Among His Own' (1974) was received by the film people (and later rated by the director himself) quite critically. The critics said the movie was too daring and that it was a brilliant display for the young director who was full of energy and self-belief and who wanted to boast of his talents. Despite the exaggeration in displaying his directing talents, Mikhalkov achieved the goal: he was noticed. Despite being critical of his directing manners which adversely influenced the meaning of the film, the critics admitted that a new personality was born in the cinema. The author focuses on the film's game-like construction - 'historical truth' does not matter; what matters is that two teams fight against each other ('the Whites' and 'the Reds') and that one has to win and achieve a goal. What is the goal? Truth and some renewed faith in man are at stake. The game has also another face - it's a play with the cinematic medium, with an inexhaustible source the cinema is.
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