7.6/10
222
2 user 1 critic

Steklyannaya garmonika (1968)

A musician playing a glass harmonica comes to a town governed by bureaucracy and corruption. Can the melodies he plays defeat the powers governing this seemingly indifferent group of people?
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Skazka skazok (1979)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A reflection of Russian history and memory. Norstein creates a visual emotional response to a changing Russia, followed in the eyes of the Little Grey Wolf spying on various people's lives,... See full summary »

Director: Yuriy Norshteyn
Stars: Aleksandr Kalyagin
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A little hedgehog, on the way to visit his friend the bear, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect...

Director: Yuriy Norshteyn
Stars: Vyacheslav Nevinnyy, Mariya Vinogradova, Aleksey Batalov
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The way bureaucracy works is told by men in the frames.

Director: Fyodor Khitruk
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ugly crocodile and a beautiful cow fall in love. Everybody else laughs at them.

Director: Vadim Kurchevskiy
Stars: Lev Lyubetskiy
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Animated short about a love between a heron and a crane.

Director: Yuriy Norshteyn
Stars: Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Kozyavin is ordered by his boss one day to find a man named Sidorov, and is pointed in a particular direction. The employee follows the indicated direction unswervingly to find him, encountering various obstacles along the way.

Director: Andrey Khrzhanovskiy
Stars: Aleksandr Grave
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Classic Soviet cartoon about the film industry.

Director: Fyodor Khitruk
Stars: Aleksey Polevoy, Georgiy Vitsin
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story about trying to self-treatment toothache.

Director: Efim Gamburg
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.

Director: Jaromil Jires
Stars: Jaroslava Schallerová, Helena Anýzová, Petr Kopriva
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

Directors: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
Stars: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
The Ascent (1977)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a freezing cold World War II winter, two pro-Soviet partisans - Sotnikov and Rybak - head off to find food for themselves and their compatriots. They find a goat at the home of a German ... See full summary »

Director: Larisa Shepitko
Stars: Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergey Yakovlev
Klubok (1968)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Nikolai Serebryakov
Edit

Storyline

A musician playing a glass harmonica comes to a town governed by bureaucracy and corruption. His melodies introduce new ideas in the form of a red carnation, however his instrument is shattered to pieces by the man-in-black, and he is taken in, to be disappeared forever. The carnation withers, but it's found by a young kid who listened to the melodies the musician played, and in his hand, the carnation turns red once again. The young kid leaves town, and comes back as an adult, playing a glass harmonica. The man-in-black shatters the instrument again, but this time thousands of carnations fly around, and the collective power banishes the man-in-black and fight his corrupt power. Written by Turhan Karadeniz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Short

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1968 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Glass Harmonica  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Once the craftsman came to a town whose citizens were in thrall to a yellow devil"
13 December 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Andrey Khrzhanovskiy's 'The Glass Harmonica (1968)' is a very political piece of animation, and I know too little about the history of the Soviet Union to make any accurate interpretations of the film's meaning. However, I'm going to have a go at it, anyway. The craftsman of the glass harmonica arrives in a town whose citizens have become corrupted by and obsessed with the lure of money (symbolised by a single gold coin held in the hand of a shifty-looking bureaucrat). The love of wealth has transformed these people into grotesque and disgusting beasts, who roam throughout the streets thinking only of money. This, I'd imagine, would be a critique of capitalism, certainly something that one would expect from the Soviet Union in the late 1960s. When the craftsman returns to the town with his harmonica, the melodious tune of his instrument brings back the humanity of its inhabitants. They break out of their beastly cocoons, becoming beautiful human beings once again; one person offers his coat and hat to a homeless man.

Together, the townsfolk restore their clock-tower to its former glory, perhaps symbolising the rejuvenation and preservation of Russia's culture and history (once money became the town's chief concern, the clock-tower was the first monument to be stripped and defaced, presumably for monetary gain). All this seems like a perfectly acceptable message for Soyuzmultfilm studio under the Soviet Union. However, my research is telling me that 'The Glass Harmonica' suffered strict censorship and was initially withheld from release. There must be a more subtle subtext that I'm missing. Perhaps the film's depiction of a cold totalitarian society struck the censors as being far too familiar for comfort; what was supposedly a critique of the Bourgeois was instead an attack on the oppressive Soviet government. Whatever the politics, Khrzhanovskiy's film nonetheless deserves to be watched for its unique and surreal visuals and stirring classical score. The people are animated as rather sterile painted portraits that only exhibit fractured movements, though they take on a more realistic and romantic appearance after hearing the music of the glass harmonica.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page