A Familiar Face
(The Slick One), (The Self-Seeker)
Peter Bagrov is a curator of the moving image department at the George Eastman Museum and an expert on Russian and Soviet film history.
Ivan Sadovskiy, Dora Feller-Spikovskaya, Dimitry Kapka, Luka Lyashenko,
“The story of an enterprising Ukrainian ‘philistine,’ Apollon Shmyhuev (Ivan Sadovskiy), whose peaceful bourgeois existence is upset by the 1917–1921 Civil War. He accidentally joins a Bolshevik military regiment [and what ensues is] an adventure road-movie with touches of the absurd. Featuring a camel as one of the main characters and mocking Bolshevik bureaucracy and fanaticism, as well as the White Army’s kleptocratic pomposity in the Civil War, this adroit farce is one of the best examples of early Ukrainian comedy. The revolutionary agitation of the Red Army is depicted in an openly sarcastic way. When the Soviet government saw itself caricatured, the film was banned.”