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  • This Russian 20-minute animated film won several awards in various film festivals in 1962, including the San Francisco International Film Festival. I saw it on the DVD, "Masters of Russian Animation, Volume One." Fyodor Khitruk directed it.

    This is the story on an average Joe kind of guy,, Vasiley Vaslievitch, a 47-year-old accountant, who suddenly leaps into a courtyard and conks to women over the head who were having a conversation. It doesn't say if he killed them, but they are at least knocked out. Suddenly, hundreds of people surround him, the cops come and the clock is set back 24 hours to "investigate" who this man is and why he would do such a thing.

    The answer apparently was a night of no sleep, thanks to incredibly inconsiderate neighbors in the man's high-rise apartment (of which there are tons in Moscow, by the way.)

    The artwork is great in this "cartoon." I loved the drawings and clothing on the all the characters was amazing. There were a lot of people in this one and they were fun to view, although the humor is here is very subtle.
  • Fyodor Khitruk is best-known for directing the Soviet Vinni-Pukh ("Winnie the Pooh") films, but his debut 'Story of One Crime (1962)' presents a far less utopian world than that created by A.A. Milne. When Vasily Vasilievitch Mamim, a mild-mannered accountant, attacks two women with a frying pan one morning, he is surrounded by a mob of angry onlookers, and a policeman arriving on the scene decides to set the clock back twenty-four hours to see what could possibly have turned this previously-contented man into a dangerous lunatic. The culprit is revealed to be a single sleepless night, thrust upon poor Vasily by a succession of inconsiderate neighbours in his high-rise apartment building: one man plays his stereo at full-blast, another holds a boisterous party at some ridiculous time of night, two love-struck lovers communicate loudly through the pipes at 3 o'clock in the morning.

    In a nutshell, 'Story of One Crime' is about the selfishness of modern society. Despite treating everybody else he meets with complete consideration – offering his train seat to an older gentleman, for example – Vasily is continually inconvenienced by neighbours who are too thoughtlessly insensitive to care about his own needs. The animation style is simple but effective. Khitruk uses split-screens like the panels in a picture-book, in a manner similar to that employed by Norshteyn in 'The Fox and the Hare (1973).' The characters are all drawn as basic caricatures, who bark like jazz instruments when they argue with each other. Khitruck continued this theme of society's selfishness, more successfully in my view, in his film 'Island (1973),' in which the main character is stranded on a tiny island and consistently ignored by every passing vessel. A simple message, but an entertaining film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Istoriya odnogo prestupleniya" or "History of a Crime" is a Soviet 19-minute short film from 1962, so this one is over 50 years old already. Fyodor Khitruk, one of the country's most successful filmmakers back then, made this one and tells us the story of a crime. It is not really about who did it or what he did, but all about why he did it. Vasili just wants his calm, that we already find out very early, but why does he get so mad? Watch yourself. Or don't as beyond this interesting premise there is really not much of memorable value in here. I thought the animation was decent for a 1960s film, but the story sadly was not too convincing. I felt this may have been a better watch at 10 minutes max, a runtime that many other Khitruk films have. Almost 20 was certainly way too long and at the very end when we find out all about why he did it, I basically didn't care at all anymore. Not one of the best from Soviet animation. Far from that actually, not recommended.