15 Eastern European Cult Classic Films You Should Know About

62064Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Russian: Moskva slezam ne verit), dir. Vladimir Menshov (1979)

While it should not be an unknown film to Americans — it won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980 — Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears might not ring a bell to viewers under 35. At the same time, it remains a Russian classic. The film is set in Moscow in 1958 and 1979, and follows three young women (Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina) who come to the big city as students from smaller towns. They eventually become friends, and the plot follows their lives as they find lovers, get married, find jobs, or have children.

Allegedly, President Ronald Reagan watched the film several times prior to his meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, in order to gain a better understanding of the “Russian soul.”