|Russian actress Vera Alentova plays "Katia" the rags to riches heroine of Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears. Katy Perry resemblance anyone?|
Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears (1980)
d. Vladimir Menshov
@ Pomegranate Golden Hill
Pomegranate Golden Hill or Kafe Sobaka/Restoran Pomegranate as it calls itself on Facebook, is a real key addition to the Golden Hill commercial strip, adding a touch of depth to the trad American delights of Luigi's and Turf Club, and balancing the chic contemporary experience of Counterpoint with some ethnicity. Don't call Pomegranate a Russian restaurant, because it is a Russian/Georgian restaurant, and, if you read the menu it is also a Russian/Georgian/California restaurant. The two cuisines have similarities and differences. Georgian drinking culture is wine centered and of course Russian drinking culture is the opposite of wine centered. Post-USSR Georgia is an independent, western-looking culture, albeit one with a strong Russian accent.
The food at Pomegranate is enlivened by the Georgian influence, but it is an ethnic dining experience, not haute cuisine (and thank god.) This does mean you need to either bring some gusto to the dining experience or stay home. While there are vegetarian options on the menu, even those options are not for those who dislike spices or weight as characteristics of their meals.
Pomegranate shows movies in the back room on Tuesdays and Wednesday night at 730 PM, although if you show up 20 minutes late and are the only person there they will start it over for you. Last night was the 1981 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film winner Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears. Part Russian take on American Grafitti, part Antoine Doinel-Truffaut film, Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears is the tale of the lifes and loves of Katerina Tokhomirva, played by Vera Alentova. 'Katia' as she is called, comes of age as a factory worker in late 50s Moscow, where she is bff's with the scheming Lyudmila. Taking advantage of a plush house sitting gig, Lyudmila introduces Katia to a young television camera operator, who promptly impregnates Katia, Fast Times At Ridgemont Times style.
After being confronted by her beau's disdainful Mother, Katia keeps the child. Flash forward twenty years and Katia is a Director at the factory where she once worked on the line. Her daughter has turned into a beautiful young woman, but Katia is still luckless in love. Enter, Georgi, a handsome (and single) machine tool maker. Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is interesting on a number of levels, but I think the most notable feature is the centering of the narrative on a succesful single mother with working class roots. Clearly, this Russian film maker was directly in the main current of world cinema and turned out a picture that has enduring, classical film values that make it watchable today.
Unfortunately, only one other person showed up last night- but- good news- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is showing again tonight- and if you dig the Antoine Doinel series, Soviet culture or rom-coms, maybe give it a shot and the restaurant as well?