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It is an extremely complicated situation for this Count to make a positive review of this Bolshevik film, particularly because it is a good one. As you will very well understand, one cannot talk well of those who so badly treated the aristocracy some time ago .
However, as you know, the aristocracy from time to time sets aside certain prejudices, this Teutonic Count has to publicly admit his fascination for Herr Kozintsev and Herr Trauberg's work in "S.V.D.: Soyuz Velikogo Dela" (there's was a collaboration that lasted more than 20 years). It's an exceptional film a soviet jewel that deserves to be rediscovered for silent cinema lovers, filmed to commemorate the "Decembrists" uprise, (group of army officers from aristocratic families against tsarist regime German words fail this Teutonic Count to such revolutionary nonsense) "S.V.D." is above all, a lesson in cinematographic mastery.
There is a perfect control of cinematographic technique with numerous and ravishing shots that emphasize the story perfectly. There is exceptional photography with the influence of Germanic expressionism evident. Finally there's an overwhelming production design with diverse of scenery (the ice rink, pubs, a circus, churches, etc.) that superbly support the plot which is narrated in a "simultaneous" yet interrelated way. A complicated relationship between the characters and country of the Decembrist uprise is obtained that may be taken as a possible collective catharsis for both.
The way the story is tackled in "S.V.D." is magnificent. The narrative achieves a "crescendo" as the uprise is crushed and one General Wischnewki is gloriously defeated. It is epic cinema without concessions.
In conclusion, "S.V.D." is a perfect example of silent soviet cinema's greatness.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave, for this German Count has to go back to regain the distant aristocratic rictus and stop these Bolshevik revolutionary proclamations so improper for this Teutonic Count.
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