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Old and New (1929) More at IMDbPro »Staroye i novoye (original title)


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Release Date:
2 May 1930 (USA) See more »
100.000.000 peasants - illiterate, poor, hungry. There comes a day when one woman decides that she can live old life no longer. Using ways of new Soviet state and industrial progress she changes life and labor of her village. | Add synopsis »
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Powerful Images And Lyricism See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
Marfa Lapkina ... Marfa
M. Ivanin ... Marfa's son
Konstantin Vasilyev ... Tractor Driver
Vasili Buzenkov ... Secretary of the milk cooperative
Nejnikov ... Miroshkin - Schoolmaster
Chukamaryev ... The butcher
Ivan Yudin ... Komsomolets
E. Suhareva ... Witch
G. Matvei ... Priest
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Efimkin ... Peasant
Vyacheslav Gomolyaka
Mikhail Gomorov ... Peasant
Hurtin ... Peasant
M. Palej ... Peasant
Maksim Shtraukh ... Peasant

Directed by
Grigoriy Aleksandrov 
Sergei M. Eisenstein 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Grigoriy Aleksandrov  writer
Sergei M. Eisenstein  writer

Original Music by
Taras Buyevsky (1997) (as Taras Bujewski)
Robert Israel (2011)
Cinematography by
Eduard Tisse 
Art Direction by
A. Burov 
Vasili Kovrigin 
Vasiliy Rakhals 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mikhail Gomorov .... assistant director
Maksim Shtraukh .... assistant director
Camera and Electrical Department
Vladimir Nilsen .... assistant camera
Vladimir Popov .... assistant camera
Georgi Gevorkov .... assistant to cinematographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Frank Strobel .... conductor (1997)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Staroye i novoye" - Soviet Union (original title)
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121 min | Germany:131 min (ZDF/arte 1998 reconstruction)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Powerful Images And Lyricism, 25 December 2007

Due to some common interests between German and Russian aristocracy ( the Russians even had aristocrats in their past not to mention they had an Empress called Catherine the Great, as great as this German count's heiresses… ), it is not strange that this Teutonic count has understood and even enjoyed Herr S. M. Eisenstein's "Staroye I Novoye".

It is not very usual that for the aristocracy to enjoy Bolshevist films full of proletarian demands that put private property at risk or as it happens in this case, a film about the Communist Party's policy on the subject of the collectivization of the Soviet agriculture. Normally this would be perfect gibberish for this German count, but thanks to Herr Eisenstein 's greatness and directorial talent, the hardships of the heroine of the film, Dame Marfa ( Dame Marfa Lapkina ) breached even the thick aristocratic Schloss walls.

And that's one of the first remarkable aspects of this oeuvre; in spite of the political subject of the film, the powerful images and lyricism ( astonishing and beautiful shot compositions ), especially during the first part of the movie, preserve the artistic merits entirely while serving a propaganda purpose. The second remarkable aspect of the film is the dichotomy between the old and new, the fight to improve the lot of Dame Marfa and her countrymen. There are many discussions because it is not easy even in Russia to change ancient and conservative customs. There are superb metaphors and social criticism ( illiteracy, bureaucracy, religiosity ) which perfectly fit the film, and last but not least, "Staroye I Novoye", is a kind of archaic documentary about ancient customs established deeply in old Russia, those ones that our heroine must fight against. And there is also a lot about agriculture ( very enlightening for this German count), especially about harvesting and how to fatten Russian cows or pigs ( literally, no pun here… ).

Herr Eisenstein had to bear during the last era of his film career, unbelievable censorship and mutilation of his work, as happens with "Staroye I Novoye". The film was reedited and Eisenstein accused of sympathizing with Trostky's policies but fortunately the film was restored and showed by the German-frenchified t.v. channel "ARTE", natürlich!, including an evocative music score by Herr Taras Bujewski, that fits superbly Herr Eisenstein primal artistic interests.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must buy a tractor for one of his Teutonic heiress.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien

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