Adventures of a Dentist

Adventures of a Dentist challenged and deflated a number of sacred Soviet cows, such as the wisdom of the collective and the beneficence of the leaders. Klimov's hero, a novice dentist called Chesnokov (‘garlic'), discovers a remarkable talent: he can pull teeth painlessly, instantaneously, with a flick of his drill and a soft ‘ding!' Initially, Chesnokov's colleagues admire him. When their patients abandon them for the miracle-worker, however, they turn on him, as do the patients themselves when Chesnokov's magic falters. As in Welcome, Klimov sharpened the parodic elements of (playwright) Alexander Volodin's script both visually and verbally. . . . ‘The story of a man who reveals an extraordinary talent, and whom everyone tramples in the most friendly Soviet way, could hardly inspire any special joy,' Klimov later recalled, especially among functionaries uncertain of the prevailing winds after Khrushchev's departure. . . . Hardly anyone got to see the film.”

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