In 1993, he finished his work on the film "Remembering Chekhov", but he did not like it and took the difficult decision not to show it to the audience. 30 years after, in the documentary, which has also included fragments from that work, which "went wrong", Nikita Mikhalkov is trying to understand and analyze what really had been wrong himself.
Nikita Mikhalkov personally arrived to present his film. The actors Avangard Leontytev and Vladimir Ilyin also attended the screening.
"It's quite a risky story. Thirty years ago, based on Vladimir Lakshin's script, we started shooting a film about several Chekhov's friends remembering him on the 10th year after his death. Nothing made us anticipate what was going to happen. We were shooting and we had a great cinematographer, Vadim Yusov, we had wonderful actors. Every scene made everyone so happy, but the film didn't happen. We had been assembling it for three years, but it never was born. It doesn't exist. We have its bits, but not a complete product. After many years we decided to try analyzing this, when I realized what had happened for myself", added Nikita Mikhalkov.
In particular, the film included archived materials of the "Trite" film studio from the shooting site of "Remembering Chekhov", where the main parts were played by Irina Kupchenko, Vsevolod Larionov, Avangard Leontiev, and Vladimir Ilyin, finished frames and Nikita Mikhalkov's footage from his tour of monasteries in 2003 and 2005.
Nikita Mikhalkov added that he and his crew had traveled and talked to people, they had been filming and at the same time trying to understand why the picture did not work: "In the end, this form came up, or, to be more precise, an absence of a form". According to the filmmaker, he did this to express his appreciation and apologies to the actors of the film, which had gone wrong.
Vladimir Ilyin congratulated Nikita Mikhalkov and the audience on the premiere of the film noting that he admired it.
On his part, Avangard Leontyev noted that, although there is no plot in the film, it was interesting to join the discussion of the issues raised by the filmmaker: "Nikita Sergeevich, you said we would be bored before the beginning, but it was not boring for sure".
"I am very pleased that we shot this film to make it an edification for someone, this is a self-confession and a hard lesson", concluded Nikita Mikhalkov.