I enjoy watching Soviet comedies. They remind me of the time of the Soviet Union, of life in a different era, and I wish that today’s generation could see how others used to live.
Another comedy from the 1970s is a film called ‘Afonia’ ( Russian original: ‘Афоня’). Directed by Georgi Daniella, the film depicts the fate of Afonia (an abbreviation of the Russian name – “Афанасий” ), a light-hearted plumber living today, who likes his job but approaches life with a dose of humour, without thinking about tomorrow. The most important thing is how to earn enough money for a lavish lifestyle, for alcohol. He does not shy away from taking small amounts of money for fixing faults at the residents of the block of flats, even for a small seemingly foreign gasket.
For this reason, after another alcoholic party in the “cellar”, his life partner leaves him, and in her place moves in Afonia’s new friend Kola (played by the excellent Soviet actor Yevgeny Leonov). Kola does nothing about the subsequent problems in his private and professional life. He pays no attention to subsequent reports from the militia about his behaviour in various places, treating them as just another funny story, even though his behaviour is discussed every time at work meetings in the company where he works.
On his way, he meets young Katya, a nurse, whom he does not take too seriously at first, as her youthful love for him does not interest him. Afonia is in love with another woman, who is, however, unavailable to him, as she is a person from other spheres, revolving in other society, and he is a simple plumber.
It is only when Afonia goes to the countryside that his approach to life changes; he looks at the world around him differently.
I think this film is worth seeing, even for the excellent acting of Leonid Kuravlov (Afonia).