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Dark Eyes
Length:118 min.
Country:Italy and Russia

This early work by Nikita Mikhalkov, shot in Italy and Russia, amalgamates several short stories by Chekhov. The sophisticated tragicomedy stars Marcello Mastroianni in a role which won him the best actor award at Cannes. His performance illuminates the period piece about a buffoonish philanderer who falls for a Russian woman he meets at a spa. Touched by her seriousness and surprised by his passion, Mastroianni's Romano follows her to her homeland on the pretense of opening a factory. At this point, the film turns into a satire of bureaucracy in Imperial Russia as Romano goes from ministry to ministry trying to get the necessary permit.

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