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Testimony (1988)

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The story of the great Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and his life and career during the rule of Stalin.

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Title: Testimony (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sherry Baines ...
Nina Shostakovich
Magdalen Asquith ...
Galya Shostakovich
Mark Asquith ...
Maxim Shostakovich
Terence Rigby ...
...
...
Robert Reynolds ...
Brutus
...
Gargolovsky
Colin Hurst ...
Stalin's Secretary
Joyce Grundy ...
Stalin's Mother
Mark Thrippleton ...
Young Stalin
Liza Goddard ...
The English Humanist
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Alexander Glazunov
...
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Storyline

The story of the great Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and his life and career during the rule of Stalin.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Zeugenaussage  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Last cinema film of William Squire. See more »

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User Reviews

 
taking a more experimental approach
7 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It doesn't need a lover of classical music to appreciate the dramatic conflicts in the life of Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), but the heavily camouflaged screen treatment presented here is more an artistic interpretation than a traditional biography. The film wants to expose the (often bitter) core of the composer's musical inspiration, by daring to be more expressionistic than any of his symphonies. It doesn't even make sense to evaluate Ben Kingsley's starring performance, because the entire design of the film is pitched so far beyond any standard of objective realism, with hypnotic, dreamlike imagery shifting from black and white to color and from dramatic facsimile to actual archival footage. The results are both powerful and pretentious, working best when the music itself is highlighted in historical context. Shostakovich was very much a witness as well as a victim of his era, and his music often reflected the violent events and conditions around him.


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