Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Gender Bender
Short Take: This anti-Soviet film is about a woman from a small Russian village who becomes part of an experiment to turn women into men.
Alternate Titles: Serp i molot
Year: 1994
Duration: 93 min
Language: Russia/Russian
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Sergey Livnev
Writer: Sergey Livnev, Vladimir Valutskiy
Starring: Aleksey Serebryakov, Evdokiya Germanova, Marina Kajdalova, Zulfiya Khakimova, Alla Kliouka Schaffer, Avangard Leontyev, Nodar Mgaloblishvili, Anatoli Ravikovich, Vladimir Steklov
Watch It Now
Buy It Now
Rent It
UkrMedia

Hammer and SickleThis anti-Soviet film is about a woman from a small Russian village who becomes part of an experiment to turn women into men. What is seen as a triumph of Soviet science is designed to create more soldiers and workers, in the ultimate Stalinist control over personal lives.

Evdokim (male actor Aleksei Serebryakov) is the first experiment in these sex change operations, complete with functional penis, no hormones required. While in recovery, he falls in love with his nurse Vera, who is aware of his history as a woman. Eventually they try out Evdokim’s new equipment.

When he is moved to Moscow, he must learn to live as a man and takes a job working to build the new subway system. Soon Evdokim marries a woman who does not know about his past life, and they adopt a child together. The two become working class heroes for the nation.

When Vera and Evdokim run into one another years later, they are clearly still in love and dream of a future together. But Vera, who was a prisoner while she nursed him to health, is aware that things are not that simple. The man that Stalin created owes his life to the state, now trapped in a public and private life that he no longer wants. In the end, Evdokim is able to hold on to some fragment of individuality and free will, despite the control of the USSR. (AB)