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The “the seventeen moments of spring” 25 years after

Company :  “DIXI” CINEMATOGRAPHY ASSOCIATION
Year :  1998
Duration :  1 episode – 55 min. 16 sec.2 episode – 49 min. 10 sec.
Anchor :  Leonid Parfyonov
Screenplay by :  Sergei Kostin
Project idea by :  Evgeni Kiselyov
The contemporary history is not necessarily events which are described in school textbooks. Often, many things we do not view at this angle get entwined with our lives. But years go by, many things change while those minor things remain.
That’s what happened with “The Seventeen Moments of Spring”. The TV Series has sparked a cult. For the first time since “Chapayev” anecdotes and literary parodies have appeared about its hero, Schtirlitz. Moreover, “perestroika” went by, the Soviet hierarchy of values broke down, the USSR ceased to exist, but the film is still being viewed and loved.
The two-episode documentary depicts the phenomena of “The Seventeen Moments”. For the first time in 25 years director Tatiana Lioznova agreed to tell the creative team and the anchor Leonid Parfyonov this epic which had turned into a legend, a myth. It was her participation in the work on the documentary that allowed to re-create events full of drama and curiosity. Her story is complemented by an independent investigation which allows to view same episodes at different angles.
The viewer will learn how an idea to have book written about a soviet secret agent within the ranks of nazi special services was born in KGB offices. How the writer Yulian Semyonov returned the money for the script which had been already sold to another studio in order to have Tatiana Lioznova shoot a film based on the script. How the film director selected the shooting crew and the actors. For instance, the role of Schtirlitz could have been played by Archil Gomiashvili, the actor who played the role of Ostap Bender, and Hitler could have been played by Leonid Kuravlyov. Besides her, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Leonid Bronevoy, Oleg Tabakov, Lev Durov, Vyacheslav Shalevich, Evgeni Lazarev and Eleonora Shashkova will tell about their work on the roles. The viewer will learn why Iosif Kobzon who sang the songs for the film was never mentioned in the credits. As a matter of fact, for the first time in 25 years of screening his name will be inserted in the credits with the permission of the film director. Finally, we will present different opinions on “The Seventeen Moments” which will be expressed by war veterans from the village of Kryukovo, Victor Tsoi fans from Arbat, parodists Pavel Ass and Nestor Begemotov, culturologist Tatiana Cherednichenko. Some people think the events in the film reflect the true life, others think they are a fairy tale about the war.
The documentary will help see dozens of familiar scenes in different light. Why in the opening episodes Schtirlitz trifles with a key ring the meaning of which we have never learned? What Tikhonov was thinking when they filmed the famous scenes in which Schtirlits is silent? What did Lev Durov think up for the scene in which agent-provocateur Klaus got shot? And, finally, how easy and technically smooth was the filming of the famous scene in which Schtirlitz met his wife.
The film’s creative team went to shoot in Georgia, where a film advisor from KGB lives now, and also in GDR, where in 1971 a number of scenes were shot. We will see “Schtirlitz’s Mansion”, real Gestapo dungeons, the city of Maissen which became Burn in the film. In the Rude Gottlieb’s Beer Hall Tatiana Lioznova and the narrator Leonid Parfyonov will meet Otto Melis who played the role of Helmut the guard, rescuer of Kat and her baby.