In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
Dovzhenko's "film poem" style brings to life the collective experience of life for the Ukranian proles, examining natural cycles through his epic montage. He explores life, death, violence, sex, and other issues as they relate to the collective farms. An idealistic vision of the possibilities of Communism made just before Stalinism set in and the Kulack class was liquidated, "Earth" was viewed negatively by many Soviets because of its exploration of death and other dark issues that come with revolution.Written by
Jeff Walker <email@example.com>
Soviet censors made Aleksandr Dovzhenko eliminate a number of scenes from the film, including a shot of peasants urinating in a tractor radiator and a scene where a dead man's fiancée mourns him in the nude. See more »
Mosfilm Studios restored this film in 1971 with a new score composed and conducted by V. Ovchinnikov. The Eastin-Phelan Corp. copyrighted that version in 1975, with an English translation of titles by Stephen P. Hill, and Kino International copyrighted and released that version on video in 1991. The video version runs 71 minutes plus about 2 minutes of explanatory remarks. See more »
Now I regret all the times I've railed about how propaganda is synonymous with contempt for the audience. It is sometimes hard to know what to say about a movie when it is a 'best of all time list' warhorse, but not this time. I have never - ever - seen a movie with a more deliberate, or surer, sense of rhythm. Two sequences that are nothing but long montages of fruit are absolutely riveting. A man sits, re-evaluating his world view, and because it takes a long time to do that we fade to black THREE times over about a minute, without him moving or changing position. This glacial tempo lulls us, so that Dovzhenko can jolt us with the arrival of a speedy tractor; or a collectivo's joyous dance through the dust over several lengthy wide shots is disrupted by his abrupt murder. Then the movie climaxes with an unbelievable crescendo where at least FIVE events are montaged, in perfectly comprehensible rhetorical construction. The movie begins with a death scene whose understated acting is mind-boggling even now, forget 1930; the final shot balances all the anti-church rhetoric with an image that is absolutely redemptive and spiritual, only the point is that redemption is found in LIFE. I'm not being pompous, this movie actually functions on that level. It achieves poetry AND propaganda in a way that I've never ever experienced before. It kind of reminds me of Brian Wilson's "Smile" in its modest grandeur, so true that it's painful, but so f***ing great that you want to experience it again and again. You can get it for free at the St. Catharines Library.
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