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A Slave of Love More at IMDbPro »Raba lyubvi (original title)

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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

It`s not a movie, it`s a mood

Author: sunlion from Riga, Latvia
27 February 2004

This movie performed a miracle - it captured a mood, an atmosphere so raw, full, that you are feeling the stuffy summer air, the slow dusty wind, candy-sweet smell of southern flowers in a hot small Krimean town. The fact that the revolution is coming closer makes it eary and subtly frightening, as if you know that there`s a needle in someone`s bouquet of camelias.

The acting is done in a way that you can`t believe it is not documentary, but film frames are like a picture frames, they airy and weightlessly capture fading scenes of decadent beauty. Then the violence comes and awakens the characters, they are silly,comical and immensely tragic at the same time.But even the shootings and some real documental footage don`t brake the atmosphiere, it only changes, darkens, like before the storm. All of it is symbolically captured in a scene in the garden, when the operator is trying to tell Olga that the old life is stale, unjust, senseless, the rush of wind runs over the park growing in strength along with the monologue. But she does not understand him, she thinks he`s just jealous and laughs in ignorance of the storms to come.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the movies when everything comes together

Author: grendel-28 from Mad City, WI
9 April 1999

The good old Mikhalkov-Adabashian-Lebeshev trio means that you get expert - and a bit Western- directing, masterly done design and great camerawork. The cast is superb. There is a great deal of suspense in this movie although the counter-espionage is a mere backdrop for a more reflective look at human nature during the trials and tribulations of love and war.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: r.w.storm from New England
18 September 2000

Well-acted, nicely photographed, believable, this near-melodrama is remarkable for its comparatively realistic portrayal of character and personality on each side in the Russian Civil War (which immediately followed the second Russian Revolution, Lenin's Bolshevik take-over in the Autumn of 1917). See it, though, not so much for a surprising insight into crumbling Soviet ideology in 1976 (so early!) as for a very human, very touching love story.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

clash of worlds

Author: Vincentiu from Romania
24 February 2013

it is one of Mikhalkov great titles. beautiful, melancholic, seductive. picture from old photo-album. part of a Rusian manner to discover the challenges of history. a film team. the Revolution. and a love story. extraordinary music. and political correct message. in fact, isles of delicate poetry. at first sigh, it is a picture by Seurat. because , not only the atmosphere but the crumbs of reality behind gestures/words of characters transforms the film in a collection of dots of pure color. indeed, it is director spirit, exercise to save traces of lost Russia but, in same time, homage to first steps of cinema.and the performance of Elena Solovey remains touching soul of this remarkable movie . because, more than a film, it is question, basic question in gloomy times - who is the duty of artist in the clash of worlds ? the answer is out of film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Eye Opening

Author: delfines625 from United States
30 June 2009

This movie gives great insight into the history and politics of Russia during 1916-1917. Not knowing much about these things, it gave me an inside perspective into the attitudes of both the educated activist and the naive young woman. It is interesting to see the main character change throughout the film from a happy yet self centered actress to a woman with a heavy heart. This movie struggles to keep your attention, but it is worth your while.

I am left pondering the title of this film. Is Olga a slave to the love she feels for her love interest, which pulls her into a politically charged situation she can't escape? Or is she a slave to the love of her country and for this reason abandons all hopes of going to Paris and leaving her country behind?

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Leninist food for thought

Author: Emil Bakkum from Netherlands, Utrecht
15 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Soviet films are clearly unique in their attempt to transfer the Leninist morality and ethics. The Leninist party did not like to impose its will by means of force, and tried to persuade their people that Leninism is for their own good and in their own interest. The voices in your head tell you to be a good Leninist. This moral offensive is what makes Soviet (and in general Leninist) films fascinating food for thought. Unfortunately I found it difficult to gain insight into the realm of Soviet cinema (I didn't know IMDb yet! How dumb can you be?). Many of them concern the horror of the Second World War, which is not really my thing. So when I saw "Slave of love" in the shop, buying it was somewhat of a gamble. It appears to be a story about the experiences of a film crew during the Russian civil war. The film crew has fled to a part of Russia, that is still loyal to the Tsar. They think with their legs. There they try to maintain their life style of the high society. They spear olives and stab friends. But they can not escape from the advancing Red Army and its agents and saboteurs, the heroes in the film (what a guy in a boat does). And the remnants of the Tsarist regime degenerate into a band of cruel terrorists. It is dynamite (take a flea out to dinner). Surprisingly director Mikhalkov tries to translate the story into a comedy. The film crew indulges in a melancholic and desperate type of humor. The events drag along, scenes seem to last forever. From my experience (well, yes, mistakes) this is typical for Soviet films: either the audience wants this slowness, or the makers just don't care. A bore is a man who, when asked how he is, tells you. "Slave of love" is value for money, but nothing more. However, some of the Soviet films that I have seen manage to escape from this melancholic mood. In the category of comedies I let off esteem with regard to "Garage" - which is recommendable. In the category of romance "Moscow doesn't believe in tears" is highly commendable. Both films have the additional advantage, that they portray the fully-developed Leninist society, long after the horrors of WWI and II. Hopefully my comments have helped you on the way - and don't forget to check off "useful: yes".

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Little Oddity About Silent Films In Revolutionary Russia

Author: museumofdave from Corning, California
9 March 2013

A fascinating film not only about the making of a silent film in Revolutionary Russia, but by extension, about the inability of humans to see beyond their primary interests, to ignore the wave of history until it all but sweeps over and engulfs them.

To a viewer accustomed to linear storytelling and sophisticated technique, this helter-skelter development of a love story between a somewhat scatterbrained actress and her quietly subversive cameraman may seem disjointed until the revolutionary movement intrudes and the violence of history intrudes into their country dream. Slave to Love is an odd little film, an immersion into the myths of another country, and while I wouldn't watch it twice, it's sincerity of purpose is evident.

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3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Mikhalkov was showing what he would later bring to "Burnt by the Sun"

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
5 February 2006

"Raba lyubvi" - called "Slave of Love" in English - portrays silent screen star Olga Voznesenskaya (Yelena Solovey) getting caught up in the 1917 revolution. She's trying to reconnect with a former lover, but the surrounding events complicate everything. What the movie's title shows is that Olga is not only a slave of love, but also of world events, of her career, and of her fans (I guess that even under communism - or whatever it was - people turn into celebrity fetishists!). As often happens in Soviet-era movies, there's a lot of exaggerated facial expressions. Director Nikita Mikhalkov appears as a waiter.

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