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 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
In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »
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
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 »
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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 <email@example.com>
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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Like 'The Birth of a Nation' or 'The Triumph of the Will', 'Earth' is a brilliant, groundbreaking film even if morally despicable. And in retrospect of what happened after its release, Stalin's liquidation of millions of Kulaks, its hard not to compare Dovzhenko's Marxism to Reifenstahl's fascism or Griffith's racism. Apologists for all of these filmmakers tell us to 'ignore the story' or 'ignore the propaganda'. Even the Kino DVD introduction instructs us to not take the film literally.
Perhaps instead of asking, 'Can propaganda be art?' the better question is , 'Can art transcend propaganda.' In 'Earth', I think Dovzhenko partially succeeds. The lyrical cycles of birth and death on the Ukrainian steppe are told with visual poetry. In fact, as the film goes on Dovzhenko obviously becomes uninterested in the circumstances of Vasily's murder and martyrdom for the collectivist cause. No doubt, the Soviet regime produced this film to (a) encourage collectivization against private ownership, and (b) Encourage a retro-pagan worship of agrarian life against orthodox Christianity. The collectivist vs. Kulak story in (a) is crude and unconvincing propaganda to a modern audience with historical perspective on Stalin's brutalities in the 1930's. However, it is with the fertile imagery and montage of natural cycles in (b) that Dovzhenko succeeds beautifully and transcends the story and makes it timeless.
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