In 1918 a simple Mongol herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the ... See full summary »
Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a ... See full summary »
The first sound film of Dziga Vertov, this is a tribute to the first Soviet 5 year plan, opening with the forcible transformation of churches to social and political clubs, filming work in the coal mines of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, capturing the sights and sounds of steel and locomotive works, and finishing with some scenes of harvests in the Ukraine countryside. Most of the focus is on work and the potential glories of the new Soviet citizens who promise to exceed the quotas of the five year plan. This is a marvel mostly because of Vertov's mastery of the early sound technology which required cameras that weighed over a ton. With speeches and inter-titles shifting between Ukrainian and Russian, there is no narrative, no actors, no script and only some visual references to Eisenstein's fictional works. It is easy to see why this film was more praised outside of the Soviet Union than inside and why so few of the workers filmed had any interest in watching it.
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