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Earth (1930) More at IMDbPro »Zemlya (original title)

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Aleksandr Dovzhenko (written by)
View company contact information for Earth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 October 1930 (USA) See more »
In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Voice that washes clean See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Stepan Shkurat ... Opanas (as S. Shkurat)
Semyon Svashenko ... Vasili 'Basil' Opanas (as S. Svashenko)

Yuliya Solntseva ... Vasili's Sister (as Yu. Solntseva)
Yelena Maksimova ... 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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vasiliy Krasenko ... Old Peter (uncredited)
M. Matsyutsia ... Farm Girl (uncredited)
Nikolai Mikhajlov ... The Pope (uncredited)

Directed by
Aleksandr Dovzhenko 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Aleksandr Dovzhenko  written by

Original Music by
Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov (1971) (as V. Ovchinnikov)
Alexander Popov (1997)
Lev Revutsky (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Daniil Demutsky  (as Daniil Demutski)
Film Editing by
Aleksandr Dovzhenko (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Vasili Krichevsky  (as Basil Krichevski)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lazar Bodik .... assistant director (as L. Bodik)
Yuliya Solntseva .... assistant director (as J. Solntseva)
Music Department
Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov .... conductor (1971 restored version) (as V. Ovchinnikov)
Frank Strobel .... conductor (1997)
Other crew
Stephen P. Hill .... intertitler: English (1975 version)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zemlya" - Soviet Union (original title)
See more »
75 min | USA:73 min (1991 Kino video)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Life as a Dream (2007) (V)See more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Voice that washes clean, 14 September 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

The film ends with a stunning panorama of humanity, a set of images alternately showing; a man running mad, a priest beseeching god to punish, a nude woman raving mad, another going into labor, a funeral procession of stern, solemn faces. So it is all there, with life as this dance between sorrow and new life, between damnation and transcendence

It has all been set in motion by the eye though, the Soviet eye that doesn't contemplate but animates by seeing. In Zvenigora it was the statuesque officer of the Red Army as emblematic of Soviet spirit; here it is the young farmer driving a tractor.

So look how it all transpires, it's more knowledge than film courses offer in a year. Before life was clear, content with unjust hardship and small pleasure - images show tilted skies, fields of hay rolling in the wind, and the old man quietly submitting to the prescribed fate - but with the arrival of the tractor, and so this mechanical eye literally plowing through the frame, it's all vigorously animated in a chorus, a frenzy of splintered image. The scenes of production are so powerfully abstract I register them on a cosmologic level; they might as well be a lost reel from the first moments of the universe, in fact, they are, astutely so, about the genesis of a new world and new life from it, Soviet in this case.

In this new life machines are the engines forward. Man as this machine. In something that could read like the ravings of some futurist manifesto, the young man preaches this new word to an assembly of villagers. So even though, like all silent films, it reaches us as a museum piece, we can and must reclaim it; it is a vigorous cinema pounding with the youthful vision of a new society.

Oh, the failings of that society to materialize as prescribed are known to most, and neither here nor there. The thing is this; the struggle was thought to matter, and so this cinema, perfectly centered in that struggle, provided voice that mattered, the song to work the fields to.

Such voice we find in the powerful metaphor that ends the film. There is fruit everywhere, on the ground, or hanging from branches, and it's pouring down hard; it rains and rains but it is all silently endured and what was thought for a moment that would break life away was merely what washed it clean, watered it to grow.

You may hear that Dovzhenko was a Malick of the time who made his art for the masses. Rather it's the other way around; I like Malick, but there is a tinge of sadness compared to a work like this, that his talents - or anyone's for that matter for a long time - cannot hope to animate, and be animated by, a new world anymore and we're merely chronicling our despairs.

It's all so perfectly centered in a worldview, this one probably the final step in the Soviet cinematic sojourn before sound and censors scattered these makers in the four winds. Only the Japanese centered deeper. Oh, it's a sermon alright; but a sermon that washes perception clean.

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