chapter  5
19 Pages

Melodrama’s womanly face

Femininity redefined in the Soviet cinema of the late 1960s–early 1970s
WithNatalia Klimova

This chapter brings together three melodramas released in the Soviet Union in 1968 and 1970 by three film studios: One More Time about Love, directed by Georgii Natanson at the Mosfilm studio; A City Romance directed by Pyotr Todorovsky at the Odessa film studio; and Gleb Panfilov's The Debut produced by Lenfilm. It focuses on the various ways in which the cinematic image of femininity was challenged, constructed, and redefined against the backdrop of prominent melodramas preceding the late thaw and post-thaw periods in the Soviet cinema. By discussing the role of music in these movies in connection to the depiction of femininity, the chapter suggests that melodrama in the post-thaw period exhibited its historical rootedness through musicality. Female-focused melodrama of the late thaw period significantly opened up possibilities to create and construct diverse and complex images of womanhood in film.