The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Seven year old Sasha practices violin every day to satisfy the ambition of his parents. Already withdrawn as a result of his routines, Sasha quickly regains confidence when he accidentally meets and befriends worker Sergei, who works on a steamroller in their upscale Moscow neighborhood.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Sasha (Igor Fomchenko) is a small boy. He lives alone with his mother in an apartment building and spends his time practising the violin. Other boys of about his age live in the same building, but they do not play with him, and instead bully him for being a musician. To reach his music lessons at the music school he has to run the gauntlet of the other boys in the building. Then one day he meets the driver of a road roller Seryozha aka Sergei (Vladimir Zamanskiy). It is re-surfacing the asphalt near the apartment building, while another building is being demolished nearby. As their friendship develops, at first Sasha watches Sergei repair the road roller, next he helps Sergei with tools, then he gets to ride the roller with Sergei, and ultimately Sergei teaches Sasha to drive the roller. For a short time, Sasha, the budding artist, finds a temporary respite with Sergei, a member of the proletariat. Sergei is the only (& seemingly the first) man in Sasha´s life.

    It is not explained in the film, as the filmmakers assume the Russian / Soviet audience will know it, but in the Soviet Union if a child had an aptitude for some specific adult occupation, then from an early age that child is nurtured in that direction to the exclusion of other career options. In this film it is apparent that Sasha is a precocious violinist.

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