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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

very moving

Author: Jiri Fiala (stooovie@volny.cz) from Brno, Czech Republic
7 April 2004

Touching and extremely moving semi-talking movie about South American prisoner who is given one-day leave. It is a known fact that none of those who have been given this "privilege" has returned. A jail warden, who is there to provoke him to try to escape, stalks him and intoxicates him on a train so he misses the station at his hometown. The prisoner finally arrives home and becomes a leader of workman movement. Very strong cinematography, rapid montage and moving (even if somewhat preposterous) story based on story by Henri Barbusse make for an exciting movie. It´s not a completely silent movie, there is a spoken word every now and then, accompanied by intertitles. 8/10 for sure.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Soviet Silent Cinema's Virtues

Author: FerdinandVonGalitzien (FerdinandVonGalitzien@gmail.com) from Galiza
28 December 2006

Herr José Real has been imprisoned during the last ten years in a South Amerikan country. The convicts, suffering through long punishment, are granted a single day of leave in order to pay a visit to their families. Due to the revolutionary José Real's character, he decides to use that day of leave to organize a worker's movement against the invading oil companies that are settled in his country.

"Privideniye, kotoroye ne vozvrashchayetsya" (The Ghost That Never Returns) it is another important film directed by Herr Abram Room. This film it another good example of Soviet silent cinema's virtues and… Herr Room's mastery, natürlich! This is especially true in the use of astonishing camera angles that gives the film an extraordinarily vigorous film narrative and a stylized and thrilling visual importance: the train scenes, José's departure or the beautiful and emotive shots of José's wife in the town when she receives the notification of her husband's one day freedom (sometimes even the Russians shows something similar to sensibility…) Somewhat reminiscent of German Expressionism (the oppressive prison and the workers' submission while there), the superb and remarkable editing are important merits those that made "Privideniye…" another excellent Herr Room oeuvre at the end of the glorious Soviet silent era.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must explain to his subjects why servants of the aristocracy have no right to even a single day of leave.

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