Reviewers considered this film to be more of a collection of raw material for a more tightly crafted film than a film in itself. It consists of footage shot by the Russian dissident (now an Israeli citizen) Moisei Kalik before 1971, when he left Russia, as well as more recent material. It combines autobiographical material with commentary on Russian history and clips covering the evolution of Russian cinema. The autobiographical material starts by showing a rebellious boy who is eventually exiled to one of the gulags. When he is freed, he enters a state-run cinematography school. There again, his rebelliousness and insistence on speaking the truth get him into trouble. The director's own story is broken up with newreel footage, clips from his films, and clips from Russian classics.
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