(Marina Shimadina’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headline, 5/25.)
Born in the remote Altai region, Soviet author Vasily Shukshin was a real Siberian original. And all the characters in his stories and movies, where Shukshin was the screenwriter, director and an actor, were also common people, ploughboys, "cranks" who lived not by calculations but by the heart.
These funny and sometimes ridiculous characters were so loved by readers and viewers, because they differed from the ideologically correct heroes of Soviet literature and cinema.
At the Theater of Nations in Moscow, these essentially Russian stories were directed by a foreigner – the head of the New Riga Theater, Latvian Alvis Hermanis. It was under him that the Theater of Nations started its cooperation with world-famous masters such as Thomas Ostermeier, Robert Lepage and Bob Wilson.