The trilogy based upon Maxim Gorky’s autobiographical works – “Childhood of Maxim Gorky”, “My Apprenticeship”, “My Universities”, had written down Mark Donskoy’s name in the history of world cinema. The original human characters, the colorful genre scenes, the shrewd observations of life… By these films, the Italian neorealists were learning from the director a poetical approach to ordinary life, sudden transitions from the everyday chronicling to the heights of romantic perception of reality.
Childhood of Maxim Gorky
1938, 98 min.
…The late 19th century. The city of Nizhny Novgorod. Wharves, the Volga accent, songs and people – good and bad, wretched and cruel. That was the atmosphere in which Alyosha Peshkov, the future great Russian writer Maxim Gorky, spent his childhood. …His life in the Kashirin family was not easy: his uncles’ constant squabbling and fights for inheritance, beatings for a slightest fault. Only one person, his grandmother Akulina Ivanovna, pities the boy. After his grandfather got absolutely ruined, Alyosha had to earn his living himself. And he goes “into the world”…
On His Own (My Apprenticeship)
1938, 100 min.
Alyosha Peshkov leaves the house of his grandfather and goes “into the world”, to earn his living. He works as a “boy” for his draughtsman uncle, as a dishwasher on one of the Volga ships, as a pupil at an icon-workshop. A kind, devoid of cruelty boy, he cannot accept the injustice reigning around him, bravely fights for the truth and… loses his job and shelter again.
1939, 96 min.
Alyosha Peshkov comes to Kazan to study. The university proved an unreachable dream for him, and he had to look for a job and live without a permanent shelter. The young Peshkov’s thoughts are as oppressive as his life. At a moment of desperation he decides to commit suicide…