The Count and Osip watch Casablanca together. Over the last several years, they have met less and less frequently, until they stopped meeting altogether. So when Osip happened to visit the Boyarsky in early June, they made plans to watch a film together on June 19. The Count had suggested Casablanca—the one Humphrey Bogart movie that Osip had never seen.
Like almost all of the Count’s other relationships (such as with Mishka or Anna), the strength of the friendship is not based on the length of the relationship or the frequency of seeing the other person, but rather the ability to fall right back into a sense of camaraderie.
When the film starts, Osip is engrossed. After twenty minutes, Osip admits that this may be Bogart at his best. But as the Count watches the character of Rick think of his days in Paris with Ilsa, the Count thinks about Sofia’s time in Paris and imagines where she might be at that moment, under the watchful gaze of the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations. But the Count returns from his reveries in time to watch his friend’s engagement during the final minutes of the film.
The Count continues to have a parental worry for Sofia as the day of their escapes nears. His reference to the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations reinforces how he believes that even though Sofia is following her passion, she is still locked within her own form of imprisonment in Russian society.