1914. The eve of World War I. The film starts with the moment of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination. The story is centered on the lives of four friends. Two of them, Andrey and Nikolai, are brothers. In the past, their father was a patron of sports or at least someone with a keen interest in football. He bet all of his money on the Russian Olympic team, but they lost 0:16 to the Germans in Stockholm in 1912. It ruined him and he lost his mind. Then their mother died and now the brothers live in the apartment of their uncle who is a doctor. They too are infatuated with football. They try out for the adult teams formed by Englishmen who work in St. Petersburg. They aren't taken, and so they decide to form their own team. But they need to buy a field, and so they start to play football for money. They play with dock workers, newspaper boys, students and seminarians... The heroes are intoxicated by youth and football (which in ancient times existed in the form of a game called garpastum). One of them has already started an affair with a much older woman. She is from Serbia. She hosts a very fashionable salon in St. Petersburg. Since musicians, actors and poets of Russia's "Silver Age" frequent her salon there are a lot of real historical figures in the film like Blok, Mandelshtam, Akhmatova and Khodasevitch. In this salon, nobody yet understands what is going on in the world and what is approaching. They just live and enjoy their youth. But little by little everything turns into drama. One of the friends is cruelly assassinated and thus begins the demise of a group of friends and their dream. Then Nikolai goes into the army and returns in 1918 to a different reality. In the film's finale, the two brothers meet and play football again on the very same field...

Cast & Crew

Written by: Oleg Antonov, Alexander Vaynshteyn, Alexey Guerman Jr

Cinematography: Oleg Lukichov

Cast: Evgeny Pronin, Danila Kozlovsky, Chulpan Khamatova

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2006