As I listened to the melodious and very compassionate songs of John Denver, I thought of Vladimir Vysotsky. An autumn day in Kiev in 1968 came to mind. The leaves were falling from the apple trees in the famous garden of Oleksandr Dovzhenko, in the film studio bearing his name. I was walking around near the ‘Shchors’ pavilion, waiting for Vysotsky. I had seen him in the film Vertical and it had seemed to me that I would certainly recognize him straight away. But when this small, skinny chestnut-haired fellow without a beard and wearing a leather jacket turned up, looking far younger than the hero of Vertical, I only realized at the last moment that it was him. And I realized this because a guitar was hanging over his shoulder. Those days the film Quarantine was being shot with my script; it told of how a group of doctors in a scientific research laboratory became infected with a dangerously contagious virus; in the film we strove to investigate the characteristic of the people, to model their behaviour in an extreme situation. To a significant extent the film’s subject was contrived, even fantastic, but the doctor’s characters were taken from nature.
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