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East Side Story (1997)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 190 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 12 critic

A look at Communist musicals that strove to be ideologically correct - and entertaining, besides.

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Title: East Side Story (1997)

East Side Story (1997) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Margarita Andrushkovich ...
Herself (as Margarita Andruschkovitsch)
Chris Doerk ...
Herself
Erich Gusko ...
Himself
Helmut Hanke ...
Himself
Barbara Harnisch ...
Party Girl
Brit Krüger ...
Party Girl
Andrea Schmidt ...
Party Girl
Karin Schröder ...
Herself
Frank Schöbel ...
Himself
Maya Turovskaya ...
Herself (film historian)
Brigitte Ulbrich ...
Herself
Hans-Joachim Wallstein ...
Himself
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Storyline

"That's Entertainment!," Communist style. A documentary about movie musicals produced during the height of the old Soviet bloc. Comrades drive tractors, sweep factory floors, feed farm animals, harvest crops, all the while singing their hearts out about the joys of socialism. Included are interviews with people involved in the making of some of these movies, as well as a film historian and nostalgic moviegoers. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

filmmaking | communism | See All (2) »

Taglines:

All Singing! All Dancing! All Marxist Musicals!

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

25 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assim Dançou o Comunismo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: The melody of life seemed to offer only one refrain: Work, work and more work.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits dedicate the film "to Karl Marx, without whom none of this would have been necessary." See more »

Connections

Features Traktoristy (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating portrayal of a film genre I had no idea even existed
27 September 2008 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

When one thinks of Soviet cinema, the propaganda masterpieces of Eisenstein or the somber meditations of Tarkovsky generally come to mind. They're great films sure, but generally not the most entertaining material out there. However, the countries within the Iron Curtain apparently enjoyed their escapist musicals just as much as the states had. In fact, from the 1930s up until the 70s, forty of these song-and-dance extravaganzas were released to much adoration by the public. However, they are completely unheard of in the West, so this documentary attempts to rectify that situation. It does a terrific job of both showcasing these films and putting them into the proper cultural context. Despite the fact I've never been a fan of musicals, I found this documentary to be completely compelling from beginning to end. It goes to prove that, no matter how many films you manage to see in your lifetime, you're only skimming the surface of whats out there.

As for the film clips themselves, they're very entertaining. While some of the musicals are blatant propaganda showing workers singing of how much they love working under the regime, some of the films (particularly the later ones) look quite accomplished from a production standpoint. Plus, they are all extremely campy because of how alien they are to my western eyes. There's a few similarities between them and the American musicals I'm used to, but the presence of strict government enforcing of a message gives them a surreal edge. They certainly don't resemble the musicals made in the West. This documentary is both one of the most bizarre and entertaining films I've seen in recent memory, and its an absolute must-see for any film buff. (9/10)


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