Grigori Chukrai is well-respected director, known in the West for his films Clear Skies and Ballad of a Soldier. Netipichnaya Istoriya, the original title, translates as "An Atypical Story," but the film was soon retitled Tryasina, which means "Quagmire." It shows how mother's blind love transforms her son into a deserter, bringing the boy to a kind of moral and social death. During World War Two, a widow is about to lose her only son to the military. Unable to bear that kind of loss, she engineers an accident just as she is taking him to the train station to begin his enlistment. Secretly, she takes her now helpless son back to her village home, and becomes an eccentric hermit in the eyes of the villagers, rarely venturing outside the house. At home, the boy becomes deeply dependent on her, even though they snipe and jab at one another in an incessant war for dominance. Years after the war has ended, his mother dies suddently of a heart attack. The boy has now become a pale, wizened bag of bones, and emerges from the house like some creature from the depths of the sea.
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