Movie Details

In this nostalgic drama, Russian filmmaker Diitri Meskhiev looks fondly backwards to the '70s when Leonid Brezhnev and communism were firmly in control, and life for a small-town teen was relatively uncomplicated. The boy is Kolyada, and the story chronicles the joys, obstacles and adventures he encountered during his 15th summer. Kolyada secretly moons over Tanya, who still grieves over Kolyada's recently deceased brother, who died in a bicycle accident. When not trying to win her over, Kolyada hangs out with his "strange" (religious) friend Kyssel and his other pal Dyoma. With them, Kolyada has fun engaging in typical teenage-boy shenanigans that become serious during a routine raid of a train carrying watermelons to market. Towards the summer's end, Kolyada must move to the city with his parents. A rousing Communist Party parade ends the story on a high note. Amerikanka was screened at the 1998 Venice Film Festival. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi