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 »
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 »
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 <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 »
Stalin may have wanted an ode to collective agriculture; what he got instead was a hymnal to mother nature and the toiling offspring who dwell in her bosom. Those opening shots of pulsating fields waving in the wind have no equal for sheer evocative power. Earth is revealed at once as a living, breathing being and bountiful provider. Flower, fruit, decay, renewal -- nature's timeless cycle. The soundless imagery is at times so wonderfully lyrical that contemporary viewers may be led to recognize how much has been lost to the technology-driven cinema of today. Even the occasional plot crudities are rescued by a style that is both brilliant and unerringly pictorial. Close-ups of weather-worn peasants, a lone kulak and oxen beneath an immense sky, great rolling plains and far horizons of the Ukrainian breadbasket -- this is the sheer lyrical sweep of the Dovchenko masterpiece, a montage that transcends all obstacles, real and man-made. Not even the estimable John Ford frames primitive elements as grandly as this. There are flaws. Too many rushing crowd scenes appear without purpose, except to mimic Eisenstein's "march of history", while the propaganda thread at times blends uneasily with the lyrical. Still and all, Dovchenko pulls off the theme of new beginning more seamlessly than might be expected. Far from being a mere relic of the silent era, or an ode to Stalinist collectivism, Earth remains an enduring testament to the power of cinema as sheer visual poetry.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?