Gleb Panfilov rarely makes films nowadays... But one must admit that the touch of the master is evident from the very start. First and foremost, it is evident in casting choices and his work with actors. ... How does one dare adapt a living classic, a legend, and on top of that involve him in the making of the film? It can only be a person whose films had been seen by everyone, including the great writer himself (no doubt of that). Justifying the great honour granted to him, Panfilov guarantees high quality, which is visible in practically every shot.
Igor Kamirov, 2006

The scene of the wives' visit to the prison is one of the most poignant in the whole miniseries. Inna Churikova plays the wife of prisoner Gerasimovich. Outside the prison there existed another GULAG, without the barbed wire, but equally harsh: it was the prison for the wives.
Aleksander Rogatkin
Novosti nedeli, 12.11.2005