Reviews

2 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
Love and Blood
20 June 2007
Beautiful film and well-acted in a theatrical style that is common of many older Russian films. The story is long and involved, and an American audience will likely wonder what the point of the first 1/3 of the movie is about. As described by another, that portion of the film seems very much like a soap opera concerned with who is sleeping with whom. More importantly is how the scandal plays out in the families and village and how the characters are trapped within their lives, culture, communities, and expectations.

Americans and other westerners might also be surprised by the 2nd part of the film, which depicts the Bolshevik victory as far from certain, often challenged, with parties changing sides and allegiances as the war weary citizens fight on through tragedy after tragedy.

Overall, it's a brilliant film ... a technical and cinematic achievement, for sure. Comparisons to "Gone with the Wind" are entirely appropriate .. however, it is a "Gone with the Wind" with muscles, with combat, with blood, with real tragedy.
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Mimino (1977)
5/10
Slow story, reinforces old Russian myths
29 August 2006
What can I say about this film? I'm a fan of Russian and old USSR cinema, speak Russian, and have traveled in Russia and central Asia - so I am fairly well versed in the Slavophile mythology of the Russian soul. This is a film that sort of plays to that, and I am sure by writing a critical review of this movie, I will be accused of not understanding. This film attempts to tell a story about Mimino, a Georgian pilot who travels to the big city with dreams of being an international pilot, only to learn that there is "no place like home". Quaint? Yes. Interesting? Not really.

There are of course many stereotypes in this film as well. Frunzik Mkrtchyan as Rubik Khachikyan is quite funny, but I doubt this character would endear himself to many Armenians.

The Georgian landscapes are attractive and interesting, there is lots of gentle humor in the movie ... but overall this is a film only worth watching if you have an interest in Russian films.
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