Family life

The film “Courier” also reflects routine Soviet family life. The movie starts with the divorce of Ivan’s parents. He barely interacts with his father, because he travels to work to Africa. Letter are the only mean of communication between father and son . Ivan lives with his mother, who seems  very lonely and depressed. She is seeking support from her son, but Ivan is not very affectionate by nature and demonstrates typically impatience with his mother.

In one of the episodes of the film, which was not originally in the story “Courier” by Shakhnazarov, Ivan is using a rather controversial and shocking method to “calm down” his mother. He says that if she doesn’t immediately calm down, he will burn the house down. And when the threat doesn’t work, he actually lights a fire in his room and quenches it a minute later. At that moment, he becomes disgusting to himself as it is noted in the script. He also sееms out of control to his mother, particularly in this episode with the fire and also when he throws a spear into a closet door.


In another episode Ivan’s mother tells him a story from her work about how she was reading poetry and all her colleagues gave her applause and one colonel has even invited her on a date, but she went home alone instead.

Even being divorced and almost hopeless to find a new partner for relationship, Ivan’s mother didn’t agree straight away to the first offer she was given and she wanted her son to respect her for this.

Family life is also depicted in the movie from Katya’s perspective. Her dad is quite authoritative. He decides for his daughter that she must go to Moscow State University and he tries to restrict her circle of friends. Tired of his total control over her life, Katya claims that she is pregnant, although she isn’t. This is another form of rebellion against a well-established way of things, against the way she was expected to behave as the daughter of an elite member of Soviet society.