A Good Book and Good Laughs; How My Belarusian Pen Pal Got Me Hooked on Soviet Comedies

This week, I started reading a new book I’ve been anticipating called Checkpoint Charlie by Iain MacGregor! I’ve wanted to learn more about this famous border crossing of the Cold War era, which was a tense divider between East and West Berlin back in the day. You may or may not be familiar with the famous sign that stood at the checkpoint (and still does, as a tourist attraction in Berlin), and I always thought it was both fascinating and foreboding at the same time:

The stern sign gave you fair warning in English, and it also warned you in Russian, French and German that you were leaving the American sector of West Berlin and about to enter East Berlin territory. It was a crossing point from (I think) 1947-1991.

I’m still in the beginning of the book but I can EASILY SAY I am HOOOOOOOOOKED and it’s a real page turner!!!!

Alongside my exploration of new literature, I’ve also dipped my toe into the world of film from the Soviet era of the 1960’s. I have my Belarusian pen pal to thank for this, as I would have NEVER known what I was missing out on – Soviet comedies!

(My pen pal is in his late forties, lives in Belarus and experienced living in the Soviet Union himself, so I’ve learned a lot from him. I can even understand some Russian phrases now, like basic greetings!) ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I’ve watched a few comedies so far, including Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures (1965), and my favorite is Bootleggers (1961) featured above. It’s a short film at only 18 minutes long, but it’s 18 minutes of pure joy and laughs for me!

It stars (from left to right) Yevgeny Morgunov, Yuri Nikulin and Georgy Vitsin. The three characters star in several movies together and play troublemakers, in which their schemes don’t exactly turn out the way they think it will and they go through hilarious situations that end with them in the back of a police car. Bwahaha!!!

Side note: I fell in love with Georgy Vitsin like, 3 seconds into the film. How could I not fall for a face like this?

I found myself thinking: all three of these actors have been deceased since the late 90’s/early 2000’s. How cool is it that I discovered their films all the way here in the United States, in 2021 no less, long after they’ve been gone, and I get to experience it with fresh eyes?! Their legacy definitely lives on!

So as you can tell, I’ve been enjoying myself immensely in the world of literature and film – the perfect way to kick off the summer. โ˜€๏ธโค๏ธ I’ll end this post with two photos of me trying to awkwardly take photos of my outfit in my room. I was feeling the orange and purple ensemble, and the pockets? Sewed those bad boys on myself!!!

See yaaaaaaaaaaa!

10 thoughts on “A Good Book and Good Laughs; How My Belarusian Pen Pal Got Me Hooked on Soviet Comedies

  1. Very interesting signโ€ฆ very foreboding.
    Looks like an interesting book ๐Ÿ“–.

    Glad you are enjoying your summer:)

    Cute pictures and cute outfits! Love ๐Ÿ’• the pockets!!

    Ciao!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is so cool! ๐Ÿ˜Š They look like a fun bunch ๐Ÿ˜„ I’ve recently found some movies from South Korea, from the 1960’s, which is amazing to me considering the Korean War happened in the 1950’s, and they were already doing cinema not ten years later.

    I also didn’t know pen pals were still a thing ๐Ÿ˜ฑ That is really neat! I hope you continue learning Russian and having a fun summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thatโ€™s super cool youโ€™re discovering South Korean films, also from the 1960โ€™s! Itโ€™s neat putting into perspective what was going on around the time particular films came out.

      Indeed, the pen pal thing is a lot of fun and Iโ€™ve learned a lot!! Thanks; I hope you have a fun summer too! ๐Ÿ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, awesome oufit!!! It’s very ’70s meets country!! When I first saw your skirt, I thought, those pockets! So striking! And then I read on and found out that you made them yourself and was doubly impressed!!! There’s no end to your talents! That’s so cool that your pen pal introduced you to Russian comedies. Gregory Vitsin does indeed have his own goofy charm. Finally, I love how your second to last pic includes both your old dummy buddy (that sounds bad, but I don’t mean it that way!) and the sparkly pink heart. They make for such a great backdrop!!

    Liked by 1 person

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