Referenced in Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma, Barnet's penultimate film is set in 1955, when many migrated from Russia to settle in Kazakhstan.
While on their journey travellers recount their memories, which are in turn light and dark, comic and romantic, even instructional.
Alenka's own story is about learning math. These tales are cinematically articulated through experiments in narration, style, temporality and animation. Barnet's vibrant, physical work imaginatively blends gorgeous scenery and expressive lighting with a peppy, endearing score to create the most gorgeous-looking Soviet colour film of its era.
Chess Fever Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky (1925) 28 mins
Barnet stars in Pudovkin's first directorial effort, a comedy in which 'chess fever' takes over Moscow. Print courtesy of the National Film & Sound Archive of Australia.