Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kiev, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides ... See full summary »
Zvenigora stars Nikolai Nademsky (Earth), as the grandfather of Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko), whom he alerts to secret treasure buried in the mountains and the boy spends the rest of his ... See full synopsis »
In 1918 a simple Mongolian 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 »
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to ... See full summary »
Dovzhenko's "film poem" style brings to life the collective experience of life for the Ukranian proles, examining natural cycles through his epic montage. He explores life, death, violence, sex, and other issues as they relate to the collective farms. An idealistic vision of the possibilities of Communism made just before Stalinism set in and the Kulack class was liquidated, "Earth" was viewed negatively by many Soviets because of its exploration of death and other dark issues that come with revolution. Written by
Jeff Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Soviet censors made Aleksandr Dovzhenko eliminate a number of scenes from the film, including a shot of peasants urinating in a tractor radiator and a scene where a dead man's fiancée mourns him in the nude. See more »
As my Basil was killed for a new life, so I'm asking you to bury him in a new way.
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Clunky propaganda plot and performances but visually and technically impressive and important
In Ukraine the landowners hold out against progress and the rights of communally worked farms of the people. When one such farm gets a tractor to further help them one of the richer farmers murders one of the collective, hoping to stop the movement in its tracks. However the opposite is true and the collective rises up out of the oppression and the tragedy to overcome the selfish and cruel approach of the rich.
This is one of those films that I knew I had to see rather than one of those films that are less well regarded but are less demanding to watch. I am glad that I finally got round to it because it is technically and visually a very good film with some very striking images. This is different from it being a good film due to the narrative though because in this regard it is quite a mixed bag. The structure of the tale is not great and it doesn't flow together in a way that I found engaging but more of concern to the modern viewer is the sweeping unquestioning propaganda that the story essentially is. It would be nice to pretend that this does not detract from the film but it does and not because I happen to disagree with the point being made but just because it is the simplistic clumsy point making of propaganda and it does jar slightly.
Dovzhenko's visuals are where the film is strongest though and it is worth seeing for this because whether is the depiction of sorrow or the beauty of the open fields, he catches it really well. If only he had done more with the performances then things would have been helped, not to mention the clunky dialogue cards (although I have to assume that those are mostly down to poor translation). So as long as you are not expecting this to be a fun experience or a great story then it is indeed a classic film that you should watch as part of an education in cinema.
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