I Am Twenty [Lenin's Guard]
[Мне двадцать лет]
Directed by Marlen Khutsiev
Written by Marlen Khutsiev and Gennadii Shpalikov. Cinematography by Margarita Pilikhina. Art Direction by David Vinitskii. Music by Nikolai Sidel'nikov. With Valentin Popov, Nikolai Gubenko, Stanislav Liubshin, Mariana Vertinskaia, and Zinaida Zinov'eva.
In Russian with English subtitles
The scene of the protagonist's meeting
with the ghost of his dead father became the focus of major political
intervention when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev attacked the film,
originally entitled Lenin's Guard, after a screening in 1963.
Khrushchev was outraged by the father's refusal to answer his son's question
about the meaning of life. This and many ideological faults of the film
resulted in its being renamed, cut (for instance, almost the entire sequence
of poetry reading in the Politechnical Museum), and re-edited.
Marlen Khutsiev (b. 1925) graduated from the State Institute of Cinematography in 1952. One of the leading cultural figures of the Thaw, Khutsiev made films that were both popular with the audience (especially the 1956 Spring on Zarechnaia Street) and symbolic of the era's dreams and illusions. In 1965, the film I Am Twenty got a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the 1970s Khutsiev worked on TV. In 1992, Khutsiev's film Infinitas won two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. The director in currently working on a film about Aleksandr Pushkin. Khutsiev received a prestigious award "For Services to the Motherland."