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Directed byPyotr Todorovsky
Produced byMira Todorovskaya[1]
Written byVladimir Kunin
StarringElena Yakovleva
Vsevolod Shilovsky
Zinovy Gerdt
Lyubov Polishchuk
Ingeborga Dapkunaite
Larisa Malevannaya
Anastasiya Nemolyaeva
Music byPyotr Todorovsky
Igor Kantyukov
CinematographyValery Shuvalov
Edited byIrina Kolotikova
Distributed byMosfilm
Release date
  • 1989 (1989)
Running time
143 minutes
CountrySoviet Union

Intergirl (Russian: Интердевочка, translit. Interdevochka) is a 1989 Soviet drama film. Set in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) in the time of perestroika during the 1980s. The film was the most popular Soviet film in 1989 (41.3 million viewers) and made a star of leading actress Elena Yakovleva.

It is the screen adaptation of the eponymous story by Vladimir Kunin[2].


Tanya Zaitseva from Leningrad, a nurse by day and a prostitute catering to foreigners by night, suddenly receives a marriage proposal from a Swedish client [3][4]. After another altercation with the police she goes home to share good news with her mother, who thinks that her daughter is just a nurse. Tanya does not hide the fact that she is getting married not for love, but because she wants to have an apartment, a car, money and dreams "to see the world with my own eyes." In a conversation with her mother she argues that prostitution is characteristic of all trades, "all sell themselves." However, the mother can not even imagine that Tatiana sells herself in the truest sense of the word.

Tanya's former client and now fiance, Ed Larsen (in the book Edward Larsen), is a pass for Tanya to the Western world of dreams. However, the Soviet bureaucracy gets in the way: there are some requirements to get a visa to Sweden. She needs to receive a permission for immigration from her father, whom she has not seen for 20 years. He requires 3,000 rubles in exchange for the paperwork - a lot of money those days. Tanya has to re-engage in prostitution to get the money.

Sweden very quickly bores the heroine. She makes friends with a Russian truck driver working for "Sovtransavto", through whom she sends gifts to her mother in Leningrad. Her Swedish "friends" never forget how Tanya earned in the USSR. Ed really loves his wife, but always makes comments about her habits. Tanya is an alien in a foreign world. She is homesick and wants to visit her mother. Meanwhile, Tanya's prostitute friend mentions during a conversation over the phone that they opened case on "illegal foreign currency speculation" on Tanya (for illegal currency transactions was another article, with very strict sanctions). Investigators come to Tanya's mother and reveal the secrets of her daughter's high earnings. Shocked and morally broken by this, Tanya's mother commits suicide by gassing herself to death in her apartment. Skein, a neighbor of Tanya, smells gas at the apartment and bursts in, knocking out the window. She pulls her out from the apartment and tries to revive her, but to no avail. She knocking on the neighbors' doors for help. At this moment in Sweden, Tanya looks back and her intuition tells her that something bad has happened. In panic, she abandoned her lover, jumps into the car and starts driving to the airport and gets killed in car accident[4]. The drama of the final episode is reinforced by the Russian folk song "Tramp" ("In the wild steppes of Transbaikalia ..."), which is the leitmotif of the film.



3 wins and 1 nomination. Elena Yakovleva has won the Best Actress award at Nika, 1990, and Tokyo International Film Festival, 1989.


  1. ^ Мира Тодоровская: рождение профессии кинопродюсер /
  2. ^ Andrew Horton, Michael Brashinsky (1992). The Zero Hour: Glasnost and Soviet Cinema in Transition. Princeton University Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780691019208.
  3. ^ Andrew Colin Gow (2007). Hyphenated Histories: Articulations of Central European and Slavic Studies in the Contemporary Academy. BRILL. p. 114. ISBN 9789047422679.
  4. ^ a b D. Berghahn, C. Sternberg (2010). European Cinema in Motion: Migrant and Diasporic Film in Contemporary Europe. Springer. p. 102. ISBN 9780230295070.

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