41 user 33 critic

Zemlya (1930)

Unrated | | Drama | 17 October 1930 (USA)
In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

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Complete credited cast:
Stepan Shkurat ...
Opanas (as S. Shkurat)
Semyon Svashenko ...
Vasili 'Basil' Opanas (as S. Svashenko)
Vasili's Sister (as Yu. Solntseva)
Natalya - Vasili's Fiancee (as Ye. Maksimova)
Nikolai Nademsky ...
Semyon 'Simon' Opanas (as N. Nademsky)
Ivan Franko ...
Arkhip Whitehorse - Khoma's Father (as I. Franko)
Pyotr Masokha ...
Khoma 'Thomas' Whitehorse (as P. Masokha)
Vladimir Mikhaylov ...
Village Priest (as V. Mikhajlov)
Pavel Petrik ...
Young Party-Cell Leader (as P. Petrik)
P. Umanets ...
Chairman of the Village Farm Soviet
Ye. Bondina ...
Farm Girl
Luka Lyashenko ...
Young Kulak (as L. Lyashenko)


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 <star5780@ix.netcom.com>

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 October 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Soil  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (1991 Kino video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was voted one of the 12 greatest films of all time by a group of 117 film historians at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. See more »


Opanas: 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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Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

An Unusual & Memorable Film
5 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

What an unusual and memorable film this is, almost more like a poem or an impressionist painting than a movie. It's filled with activity and images that push the actual story into the background. Sometimes the characters overreact to events in a highly exaggerated fashion, while at other times they barely respond to what happens - yet it seems both real and believable. The movie is probably not quite as great as some would have it, but it has an unusual appeal that makes you want to watch it (or, perhaps, experience it) over again.

The scenes often have little connection with one another, and it's clear that the plot is not meant to be the main emphasis. On the surface, the story is about the collective farm, their hopes of getting new machinery, and their rivalry with the independent landowners. But it's intended to be something more subtle and worthwhile than a political message. The themes and images involving the characters and, especially, the "Earth" itself, are more vivid than the slight story-line.

To be sure, the collectivist perspective from which the film was made is rather obvious. But that does not detract from this unusual achievement. And while it would not work as light or casual entertainment, it is well worth watching, and it's a movie you won't forget afterwards.

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