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Peasants (1935)

Krestyane (original title)
The struggle of farmers against the "kulaks" on collective farms. The ruthlessness of capitalism is central, in a world where cruelty wins over solidarity. Communitarianism might be the answer to all these abuses.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Petya
Mariya Blyumental-Tamarina
... The District Commissar
Ivan Chuvelyov ... Kostya
... Anisim
Yekaterina Korchagina-Aleksandrovskaya ... Mother Platonivichna
Vladimir Lukin ... Matveyev
Aleksey Petrov ... Gerasim Platonovich, the kulak
... Egor Nechayev
Vladimir Sladkopevtsev ... Volodka (as V. Sladkopevtsev)
... Assistant chief of the politotdel
Yelena Yunger ... Varvara Nechayeva Plantinovich
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Storyline

The struggle of farmers against the "kulaks" on collective farms. The ruthlessness of capitalism is central, in a world where cruelty wins over solidarity. Communitarianism might be the answer to all these abuses.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

28 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peasants  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Featured in Fridrikh Ermler (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Passionate and Raw, Beautiful and Authentic
22 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

Words can't praise this film, directed by Friedrich Ermler, enough, which includes powerful scenes of love and hate, hope and despair. The naive exaggeration, typical for the time, is left behind in the film, and reality is relayed to the viewer in the most authentic manner. It exceeds the limitations of naturalism; of excessive; conventional realism. Some people look at these films, made during the Stalinist era, extremely simply but Peasants (1935) is a bold film and not propaganda, by any means, even if it was partly made in the sense of agitation. Above all, it is a sensually beautiful piece of work.

The film deals with the problems of peasants at collective farms; and its basis is their battles for the Kolkhozes; and the director shows great hatred towards the upper-class -- the Kulaks -- through many brilliant, but obnoxious, scenes. From this perspective, the main topic of Peasants is the class struggle between the Kulaks (a term developed by Stalin; meaning affluent peasants) and the poor peasants. Furthermore, as a social film, Peasants offers an insightful vision of the ruthlessness of capitalism; of a world, where cruelty wins over solidarity. However, even though the film is communist; Leninism has been left behind and it also attains an ethical aspect by highlighting communitarianism, in this particular Kolkhoz.

Sure the film has aged a lot, and how magnificently it has, but; for its description of poverty, class struggle and the Russian reality, it is also timeless. Although, the film depicts miserable conditions, it ends in strong belief in its own ideology. The film was one of Andrei Tarkovsky's great favorites and an observant viewer might find a few shots that include Tarkovskyan poetry. Nonetheless, whether it was or wasn't his inspiration, Peasants is a passionate work of art and, therefore, must be seen. I would recommend it, not only to film fanatics or fans of Soviet cinema, but to all interested in humane history of man.


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