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In June 1941, famed American symphony conductor John Meredith (Robert Taylor) is touring Soviet Russia with his manager Hank (Robert Benchley) when they go to a small rural town where famed Russian composer Tchailkovsky was born. John meets Nadya (Susan Peters), a sweet peasant girl with an ear for classical music and they soon get married. When war breaks out, John want to flee back to the USA, but Nadya wants to stay and fight the invading Germans who are closing in on the village. Written by
The song of Russia isn't the face of Russia. The essence of a song (for any creature) is a call for unattainable beauty, isn't it? Does this film call to arms (to be war propaganda like German colored film "Kolberg" or Japan anime "Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei")? Only in the sense of defending the beauty in our hearts (love, devotion, patriotism). No one mention about communism and its spreading, only the call by means of music for help during wartime regardless social and cultural differences, this is a noble step from Americans and why they have been feeling ashamed after that (like enamored and betrayed)? The live action seems to be a beautiful art, not an ugly artificiality, maybe pompous as usual background for love or heroic story wherever it happens, so it can't be regarded like awful propaganda as hurt Ayn Rand said in her HUAC negative testimony about the film. Her words "They (russians) try to live a human life, but you understand it is totally inhuman" are totally reductionism. What about American view of Soviet Russia, I've never found it adequate (in contrary to the style of socialistic realism in soviet films), and American stamps in Russian context always looks funny for me, but the humanistic kindness and classical music in the film erases ambiguity and national differences. No wonder I'm pleased with the film =)
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