Last Year's Snow Was Falling

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Last Year's Snow Was Falling
Падал прошлогодний снег
Directed by Alexander Tatarsky
Written by Sergey Ivanov
Narrated by Stanislav Sadalskiy
Music by Grigory Gladkov
Cinematography Iosif Golomb
Edited by Lyubov Georgieva
Distributed by Gosteleradio USSR, Studio PRO Video (VHS 1990s), Master Tape (Video, VHS 2000, DVD)
Release date
  • 1983 (1983)
Running time
19 min. 45 sec.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Last Year's Snow Was Falling (Russian: Падал прошлогодний снег; translit. Padal proshlogodniy sneg) is a 1983 Soviet clay-animated film directed by Aleksandr Tatarskiy (T/O Ekran studio).

The film reached a cult status after its first appearance on Central TV. The aphoristic remarks of the characters, full of absurd humor, turned into colloquial proverbs.

For this work Tatarskiy received the Silver Cooker award at the 1983 Varna International Film Festival.

Loosely based on some folk fairy tales.

Plot summary[edit]

The protagonist is a lazy, ignorant but tricky man. He is also tongue-tied – unable to pronounce some digits and letters. He likes beer and always gets into ridiculous situations. Fortunately he has a strict and authoritative wife. The story begins when his wife sends him to bring a New Year tree from the forest. But the forest in the winter is a magic place full of surprising events and transformations. Entangled in the miracles, having lost and found his own image more than once, the man goes back home with empty hands.

The plot includes two interrelated stories – about the man's dreams and about incredible transformations inside the magic cabin on chicken legs. The first story is based on the fairy tale about a greedy man who saw a rabbit in the forest, daydreamed about growing rich on it, and frightened it away with a shout.

The narrator closes the story by saying that the man eventually got the tree, but it was already spring by that time, so he had to bring it back.


The absurd style of narration raised censors' suspicions that the film "contains encoded messages to foreign intelligence". Also they said to Tatarskiy that he is disrespectful to the Russian man ("you have just one character in the film and he is an idiot").

Some phrases that later became colloquial (Who is here, for example, the last in line for the Tsar position? Nobody?! Then I'll be the First!) were defended by Tatarskiy and Ivanov with scandals. Despite their attempts the film was sent "for revision". It was cut anew and redubbed.

Other facts[edit]

  • Sadalsky did not appear in the credits. Shortly before the final cut, the actor was arrested inside the Cosmos Hotel with a foreign citizen. The information against Sadalsky was reported to Gosteleradio director S. Lapin who ordered the removal of Sadalsky's name from the credits as a penalty for forbidden relations with foreigners.

External links[edit]