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Testimony (1988)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  November 1988 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 197 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

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 ...
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  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Last cinema film of Robert Urquhart. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Arty bio hard to follow and very slow paced.
17 August 2007 | by (Kansas City, MO) – See all my reviews

It's rare that a movie gets made from a book I've read, which might be one of the reasons for my disappointment. Too much of the movie felt like exposition - jumping from one point to the next. Of course, telling the epic life-long story of Soviet composer Shostakovich on a shoestring budget doesn't help. The director takes an arty approach that looks cool but doesn't go anywhere. He scales the movie up using footage from Eisenstein films, while at the same time denouncing Eisenstein (mainly because of his connection with Prokofiev). There's not much "story" to Shostakovich's life anyway - it's mainly an internal struggle with Stalin and his artist-killing regime. Will he be killed for writing his next symphony? Will he be killed if he doesn't write it? The real drama's in the music. Ben Kingsley is great as Shostakovich, but there's no narrative for him to follow, and the movie is hard to sit through. It might have been more interesting if it were Russian instead of British, or at least felt more authentic. All it really shows is how cinematic Shostakovich's music is.


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