Inna Churikova, the wife of Soviet director Gleb Panfilov, plays a starry-eyed factory girl who lands the title role in a movie about Joan of Arc, her time on the set interspersed with flashbacks to an adulterous affair. The chronology of this bittersweet 1970 drama by Panfilov is rather confusing, and his tone wavers between pathos and comedy, the kitchen-sink realism of his visuals interrupted occasionally by the Joan epic, a parody of Eisenstein. Churikova seems to relish overemoting as Joan and throwing tantrums on the set—most of which is played for laughs—yet her performance as the plain-looking, kindhearted heroine is both luminous and emotionally shaded. Also known as The Beginning. In Russian with subtitles. 91 min.