“Once upon a time there lived a simple woman” is a historical movie directed by Andrey Smirnov. It narrates about the life in Russia from 1909 to 1921 and historic events of the Civil war and Tambov Rebellion witnessed by a peasant woman. The movie was showed in cinemas in autumn of 2011. The five-episode TV-version came out in 2015.
The movie pictures a Russian village of 1909-1921 through a Tambov peasant Varvara’s life. She gets married, gets widowed, and tries to put her love life in order. Historic events are unfolding at the same time – World War I, October Revolution, Civil War and Tambov Rebellion.
Most scenes of the movie (except the inside scenes shot in “Belarusfilm” studio in Minsk, location shootings at Zadonsk Monastery (Lipetsk region) and scenes at the St. Petersburg railway station) had been made in Tambov in 2008-2009, in Tsaryovka (Znamenka district), Lysye Gory (Tambov district) and Krivopolyanie (Bondari district) villages of Tambov region.
The scenes of church holidays, village shooting, almost all scenes with Antonov followers were made in Krivopolyanie of Bondari district. The scenes in “Baranchik’s yard” were shot in the specially-built set next to the village cemetery in Tsaryovka village of Znamenka district. The scenes “At the farm” were shot in a set near the eastern outskirts of Lysye Gory village in Tambov district, as well as the movie episode “Cross Procession”. The town scenes of the icon shooting were made in Tambov, in the yards of schools №6 and №7. Varvara’s walk “from the prison to Cheka” was shot in the yards of the houses in Sovetskaya Street, 71-73.