The film "Badge of Trouble" (1986, Belarusfilm) 27/05/2018 automatic translate
We want to warn in advance: if you are going to a cinema to "rest" or "spend time" - do not go to this picture. If you are tired and you have a bad mood - better stay at home. Because you have to work hard - empathy. Willy-nilly, you will have to take part of the sufferings of the heroes and love them - Stepanida and Petroka - in their ugly, everyday peasant labor, in their completely "not heroic" victory over circumstances, over the war...
Vasil Bykov’s prose is hard to read to me, like walking barefoot on sharp stones, because the Bykov war is blood, sweat, pain, dirt, horror and the indispensable, relentless and painful moral ascent of each hero to his own Calvary. To watch the films made by the tragic tragedy, based on the writer’s works (there are already a lot of them - "The Alpine Ballad", "The Obelisk", "The Third Rocket", "The Wolf Pack"), is also difficult, even if the director tries to lightly "lighten" the Bykov’s bitter reality. When Butkov translates the artist of the same scale as Larissa Shepitko ("Ascension"), written by Bykov, the original sympathy and empathy of the protagonist that passes over the soul passes into a different, higher moral category. And we do not dare to regret Sotnikov going to martyr’s death, because his deed and he is already above suffering, above death itself.
"Sign of trouble" is also a history of ascent. Ascent of Stepanida to his starry hour - to death, through trials fate, time, people. Unreasonable work on a barren, abandoned slope. Collectivization, dekulakization, injustice, allegedly committed in the name of a just cause. And, finally, war is the most important test. A chain of trials that only the strength of the human spirit can withstand...
"I think that everything that I shot in the cinema and did in the theater was a long, fifteen-year long road to Bykov’s creativity," the words of director Mikhail Ptashuk sound like a declaration of love and make this work particularly attentive. About two mandatory requirements, which he presented to himself and the entire crew, I would like to tell the audience. "Firstly, to love Stepanida is not easy to understand, but to love, to enjoy the smallest of her joys and to be insulted even for negligence towards her, not to mention resentment. Justify it in everything... We are not judges, and certainly not prosecutors for Stepanida - we are her surviving children. And... observe the style of Bykov, the style of "humble truth." A style that, as it were, tells the viewer: "I’m sorry, there are some moments in this story that it’s unpleasant to show, but it’s true. And you’re already an adult - so look carefully and do not take your eyes off, do not be afraid. "
Ruthless realism of individual scenes of the film will seem superfluous to someone. But only scrupulously and in detail following Bykov’s word, with utter frankness transferring to the screen the smallest details of the existence of the heroes, one could achieve "modest truth" and surprising authenticity of what is happening. However, if it were not for Nina Ruslanova, this would be a completely different picture. Because, despite the director’s accuracy in creating the atmosphere, camera skills and excellent acting (especially I want to mention Gennady Garbuk, the famous theater actor, State Prize winner, in the role of Petroc), the main success of the film is Nina Ruslanova as Stepanida. About this role for sure will be a lot and detail to write, because this is undoubtedly a new stage in the work of Ruslanova herself and, perhaps, the most significant and interesting female image in the cinema of recent years.
According to the story of V. Bykov