In this lavish and very romantic Soviet film, told largely through flashbacks, we come upon Toma Alistar as he is pretending to be dead to outwit the Czar's tax collectors. Alistar is a violinist, and like many other performers in his day, he has to earn his money where he can. As a youth, he fell in love with Laika. Upon return to his native Moldova from a tutoring engagement in Germany, he finds that she has married a gypsy and cannot be located. Lovesick, he pays a detective for over 20 years to find her -- to no avail because the detective is swindling him. In the present, the tax collectors are once again trying to collect, and are not fooled by Alistar's pretend-corpse, but this time it is the real thing. This film has an extremely sentimental and rather sweet ending.
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