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uring the post-WW2 reconstruction in Russia, bald-headed technocrat Drozhdov equates communism with the empowerment of the ordinary man over the arrogant "specialness" of genius. Dedicated scientist Lopatkin takes refuge in Moscow with the potty, brilliant old inventor Busko. Lopatkin works tirelessly on his invention, embarking on a roller-coaster of rejection and acceptance, his work vilified, plucked apart and plagiarized by colleagues, particularly by his nemesis Drozhdov. Drozhdov's wife Natasha, alienated from her cold, controlling husband, is increasingly drawn to Lopatkin, whom she knew when they both taught at the same school. Soon she runs away from her husband and happily keeps house for the two absent-minded ex-professors Lopatkin and Busko. Natasha is ready to give Lopatkin her own life, love and faith. Lopatkin is eager to sacrifice his life for the idea, doing the utmost for his motherland.

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