Public opinion

On this discussion forum about the film “Courier” by Karen Shakhnazarov we selected the comments of the users who reflected on the social reaction on the film when it was released, in 1986, during the perestroika period. It turned out that the film was exceptionally relevant to the social changes in the USSR of that time and therefore it was well understood and accepted by a lot of people.

This helped it receive the following awards:

  • 1987 — The best film of the year according to the survey of the magazine “the Soviet Screen”
  • 1987 — One of the leaders of film distribution of the year in the USSR (6th place – 31,9 million viewers).
  • 1987 — The prize FIPRESCI and a special jury prize at the Moscow Cinema Festival..
  • 1988 — The state award of the USSR in the name of Vasilyev brothers.

№ 5   Lena  (city. Kr-g)  24.07.2008 01:36

The stories “Youth” and “Courier” we were reading until we get holes in them. I am alway cautious about watching the screen adaptations of the literature. But here is a perfect match – actors, music, everything. That’s probably because K. Shakhnazarov is the author of both the story and the film. The funny moment is when Churikova (Ivan’s mother) is slowly singing “Trava u doma” in a high pitch.

№ 21  Ulan,  (city. Alma Ata )  15.09.2009 15:34

When the film was released it was my senior year of high school, and therefore the film is very appealing to me. They managet to show everything in the film, the problem of fathers and sons, that gap between the golden youth and the ordinary Soviet adolescents. Absolutely everything is touched for reason. Not to mention the rising popularity of breakdancing among the youngsters.,

№ 62   Valera  (city. Moscow)  7.06.2010 23:17

Exactly that time, the summer 1987, was when I watched it for the first time. It was well advertised before the release, just like any other film. At first I didn’t like it. My mom asked me about the film and I said that. Then she said “Perhaps you didn’t get something?”. After that I watched it many more times. I started liking it after my second view and I still do. There was so much funny stuff. Ivan’s jokes for instance. I also like a lot the old song of the rock-band Zemlyane “Trava u doma”. They were performing it really awesome. It was in the peak if popularity in 1982-83. In the film it’s recorded. And Ivan was playing the tune on guitar. I also like Inna Churikova (Ivan’s mother), especially in that film. So cool she was singing “Trava u doma”. We were laughing hard  cause she changed the tune the way she felt like, making it slow. That’s a talent! Simple and kind woman. All the actors are great Oleg Basilashvily (Katya’s father), Anastasia Nemolyaeva (Katya), Svetlana Kruchkova (Zinochka), Aleksandr Pankratov-Chernyi (chief-editor) and others.  I was 14 that time, my parents were asking me – “You’ve got 3 years of school left, have you decided where to apply?” – they were asking that after the film “Courier” and not only then.

The youth of the 1980s is shown in the film. Ivan and his friends were finishing school. Some have already decided, others, like Ivan, have not. But that’s not critical. I liked him a lot and I still do.

Actually, at that time breakdas was becoming really popular, it’s reflected in the film. The cool music is playing and guys are dancing the break. I do it myself sometimes, it’s a cool dance. I especially like for it the music from the film.

The last scene – the soldier. He came from Afghanistan and is looking at the guys, looking at Ivan, and Ivan is looking at him. Ivan has this service in future while the soldier has already had it. What was he thinking about when he saw those guys breakdancing? We never know for sure. We  can only guess. I think that the soldier thought “You are having a careless life. If you’d go to the army… It’s nothing like break-dancing“. One should have a goal in life, some aim, responsibility. One should know what she or he is living for.

№ 65   Svetlana Voytuk (city. Perm’)  23.07.2010 22:30

Fyodor Dunaevskiy (Ivan) was coming to our city with that film. And, you know, when he was telling us about his film character he wasn’t that much different from Ivan in the movie. He was joking at people older than himself, but that is not evil, that’s just the way he is a bit of a dolt, but a caring son and a good friend at the same time. And about his relationship with the professor, Ivan sensed that negative opinion about him from Katya’s father and her friends. He is not a part of their circle, he is alien to this snobbery – remember the dialogue with the young Smekhova (Katya’s friend). He is a normal, overall, guy. I even liked him.

The film is great, I was recently watching it together with my 17 year old daughter, – “a funny film” – was her reaction… But she was really surprised by the music at the end (Rockit), “Did you listen to that?” – she asked (she’s doing modern dance).

Looks like the film is relevant to all the generations.

№ 185   Maks (city. Kiev)  6.10.2012 18:28

I generally don’t like the perestroika period films, but “Courier” is good! Good because it shows the truth. I’ve seen it all myself – the breakdancers, youth “rebelliousness”, “Afghan syndrome” and so forth.

I personally paid attention to the idea that “the younger generation doesn’t have future”. From the late 1980s started that diversification by the income level among the youth… Whose dad is going abroad, whose doesn’t? What kind of clothes does he bring from there? Parents’ social status was a good start for one’s own bright future.

№ 972   O.Ohlendorff   15.02.2014 22:02

They were making it for profit. I’m 38, I remember the first release of the movie, there were no empty seats in the movie theater. And then we were discussing it for the whole next week at school. So, I think, they earned a lot on the film.