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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


First Circle (1992)

Part 1
NEW INMATE: So, brother, what kind of camp is this.
XLEB Vicentitch (the mathematician): Oh, brother, this is no camp, this is the Mavrino Sharaschka.
NEW GUY: Sharaschka, now what does that mean?
XLEB: That means you find only the best class of criminals here. Scientists, mathematicians, engineers. 11:20
LEW RUBIN: What do you know about history. You are a mathematician (Xleb).

COLONEL: Your old mathematics professor (Vladimir Irastovitch) has been sent to Mavrino to systemitise our cryptography work. He was delighted to learn that his star student was here. ---

XLEB: You joined the ministry of security. Why did you leave the university. You were the most respected mathematician there.
PROFESSOR: Well the ministry asked for me.
XLEB: You could have got out of it surely.
PROFESSOR: I suppose, but the salary is double and I have four children. Look Xleb, the thing is I am forming a new cryptography unit here at Mavrino. I need mathematicians.

LEW RUBIN: Well, what happened. They want me to join a new cryptography unit.
What did you say.
XLEB: I told them to shove it.
XLEB: He even brought in an old math teacher of mine to butter me up.
LEW: Who?
XLEB: Vladimir Tschelnov. Brilliant mind, decent man. Seems almost embarrassed to be working with them.
LEW: You could do worse than cryptography. At least you would be using your mathematical training.

Part II
DIMITRI ALEXANDROVITCH: Professor I understand that you are a mathematician. Engineer tells about voice scrambler design.

mention of Xleb being a talented mathematician.

XLEB'S WIFE: Don’t tell me you started believing in God.
XLEB: Pascal, Newton and Einstein.
GUARD: You were told not to name names.
Both laugh.

Part 3
PROFESSOR: Dimitri Alexandrovitch. Come in come in. I just want to finish one last calculation.
DIMITRI: Of course, of course.
PROFESSOR: Well, I have worked out the mathematical possibilities of your design. If a telephone voice scrambler is manufactured according to the principles you’ve set down it will break up human speech so thoroughly that not even hundreds of technicians with hundreds of decoders could decipher it. In short: a brilliant and original piece of work.