A healthy young Russian beauty who lives and works on a Soviet collective farm during harvest time becomes pregnant by a handsome rascal. To the disapproval of the folks in charge, Asya is so delighted with her fertile state that she's not in the least upset that her lover won't marry her. Konchalovsky chose mostly non-professionals from the location where Asya's Happiness was filmed (only three of the actors are professionals), and encouraged them to speak in their own words about real experiences. Under a political regime opposed to religion, the film's ordinary people are revealed as extraordinarily moral, practitioners of bedrock Christian values. So dangerous was Konchalovsky's unfettered imagination, his film was banned for 21 years!
Vincent Canby (New York Times Review): 'Asya's Happiness is a movie of insight and a good deal of humor. The film is reportedly a favorite of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader. Mr. Konchalovsky allows the movie to wander around, poking into the lives and reminiscences of subsidiary characters. These are what give the film its richness and feeling of authenticity. Asya's Happiness displays ease, compassion and natural humor.' (EH)