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

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7.5/10   3,626 votes »
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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:
Can Art Transcend Propaganda? 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?

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.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 Voyage in Time (1983) (TV)See more »


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25 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Can Art Transcend Propaganda?, 5 August 2006
Author: bobdunn9 from Virginia, USA

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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