[working on the film train] I came across a very interesting type of peasant, the sort who’d entered a kolkhoz [communal farm] but didn’t feel the true power of it and wasn’t happy there. For such a peasant, life was hard. No one liked him much, he was laughed at, and he was very unhappy. I was thinking of him when I made Happiness. Every man is seeking happiness. Some see it in wealth, but the Russian peasant who struggled in poverty dreamt of it in his own way. … I tried to show the tragedy of such a man, and the effort he makes to find his ideal life. His dreams couldn’t be very elaborate, of course, they were on his own scale but in his own way he was looking for happiness. And in this film I tried to tell a story that’s funny, sad and tragic, the story of a peasant like him, Khmyr, for whom nothing goes right. His life is a struggle… and totally unexpected to him, at the end of the film he finds that there are others who care about him, friends, neighbors, the government too. And in a collective farm he comes close to happiness.
Funny movie, with good performances by the lead actors (first screenshot), some real surprising moments (second screenshot), some scenes that deserve to be well-known Classic Moments in film-school montages (third screenshot) and a good Ivan The Terrible beard shot (fourth screenshot).