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In this film version of MASCHENKA, Vladmir Nabokov’s first and most autobiographical novel, Cary Elwes gives an awesome performance as the young Ganin, a Russian émigré coming to terms with his new life in Berlin.

Ganin’s dull existence comes to an end as he discovers the woman he loved is moving into the same building. What follows is not only a humorous love story but also an evocation of a lost world that is tragic, nostalgic but also warm and tender at the same time.  

MASCHENKA will put a smile at your face and tickle your ribs. The outstanding cast includes one of the greatest British character actors,Freddie Jones, as a washed-up old poet desperate to join his family in France. The other tenants in the building are played to perfection by a largely European cast, and writer John Mortimer remains faithful to Nabokov’s novel.

Director John Goldschmidt weaves stunning summer locations with the grim industrial modernism of 1920s’ Berlin to create a contrasting visual tapestry against which the story unfolds. Whether you are familiar with the novel or not, MASCHENKA is enchanting entertainment of the highest quality.

John Goldsmith
Freddie Jones, Jonathan Coy, Sunnyi Melles, Cary Elwes, Irina Brook
Playing Time
103 min.
Production Company
Clasart / Jörn Donner
John Mortimer
Original Author
Vladimir Nabokow