Wartime Romance / Viiskovo-polovyi roman




Ukrainian SSR


Odessa Film Studio


87 min


Petro Todorovskyi


Petro Todorovskyi


Valerii Blinov


Nikolai Burliaev, Natalia Andrieichenko, Irina Churikova, Katia Yudina, Zinovii Gerdt

On the frontlines of the Second World War, a private falls in love with a nurse who is dating his commander. This tender feeling is rekindled as he recognizes her laughter in the crowd of the post-war city. She is raising a daughter and supporting herself by selling pies, while he is now a married motion picture operator.

Director Petro Todorovskyi refrains from the literal depiction of war – the audience witnesses the most dramatic events and the war itself only through the reflections on the faces and fates of people, as well as on the film reels that the protagonist plays from his control room. This chamber theater of incredible persuasiveness and emotional tension is completely devoid of heroism and pathos, and is based on real events and memories of the director himself.

Like the main hero, Todorovskyi experienced the Second World War firsthand. The story about the pies and the hero’s numerous military flashbacks came from the director’s real life. The story in its entirety was quite personal for Todorovskyi. Having played one of the leading roles in the film by his friend, Marlen Khutsyiev,  It Was In May, Todorovskyi planned to play the leading role in Wartime Romance. But then decided to entrust it to the actor Nikolai Burliaev.

Wartime Romance is the first and only Ukrainian Soviet film nominated for the Academy Award. In 1984, the film was entered in the main competition of the Berlin Film Festival, where Irina Churikova—the actress who played the leading female role—received the Silver Bear for the best actress performance. In the USSR, the film became one of the box office leaders – it was viewed by more than 15 million viewers.