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Directed by Sergei Nikonenko
Starring Sergei Nikonenko
Ekaterina Voronina
Cinematography Nikolai Puchkov
Produced by Gorky Film Studio
Release date 1988
Running time 88 minutes
Country USSR
Language Russian

Yolki-palki is a 1989 Soviet satirical film based on novels by Vasily Shukshin, directed by Sergei Nikonenko.


...In a small provincial seaside town lives Nikolai Nikolayevich Knyazev. He is an employee of an ordinary television repair workshop, but his hobbies are very unusual: Nikolai Nikolayevich is an inventor and thinker. The people around him, including his own sister, consider Knyazev nuts, but he does not pay attention to them. The heart and mind of Nikolai Nikolaevich are wholly engrossed by two "great" ideas: the creation of a fundamental work on a just state and the invention of a "perpetual motion machine". The weak efforts of Lyuba, a worker in the post office who is also Knyazev's neighbor, to talk some sense into Nikolai Nikolayevich by offering him a quiet family life as an alternative are in vain. At night Knyazev enthusiastically writes his work about the state, and in the afternoon, together with Vovka, Lyuba's young son, builds a "perpetual motion machine".

The "grandiose" plans of the "inventor" end tragicomically. Because of attempts to send his "works" to the UN and UNESCO, Knyazev almost ends up in a psychiatric clinic. And when the wheel which rotates the "perpetual motion machine" stops after all, then Nikolai Nikolayevich who has fallen in total despair tries to commit suicide. Ordinary love of the simple woman Lyuba restores Knyazev's zest for life. And he is again ready to create, invent, think...


  • Sergei Nikonenko – Nikolai Nikolaevich Knyazev
  • Ekaterina Voronina – Lyuba, Knyazev's neighbor
  • Ilya Tyurin – Vovka, Lyuba's son
  • Galina Polskikh – Klava, Knyazev's sister
  • Leonid Yarmolnik – Grigory Kaigorodov, circus artist, motorcyclist
  • Svetlana Orlova – Galya, Kaigorodov's wife
  • Leonid Kuravlyov – electrician
  • Ivan Ryzhov – granddad
  • Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev – Yuri Viktorovich, makeup artist from Tomsk
  • Georgi Burkov – chief of the police station
  • Gennadi Matveyev – policeman
  • Andrey Vertogradov – policeman
  • Irina Tsyvina – Ira
  • Vadim Zakharchenko – doctor
  • Alexander Rakhlenko – bather on the beach
  • Viktor Neznanov – bather on the beach
  • Vadim Kurkov – bather on the beach
  • Sergey Kapitsa – cameo