Set in 1955 when many migrated from Russia to the Steppes of Kazakhstan, this is the trip back to the Canal from the frontier and farms by a number of people who tell their settler stories.... See full summary »
Thomas Gordeiev is the son of a rich grain merchant. As a child and a young man, he lives a protected life, embellished by the privileges of his social class. Affected very early on by the ... See full summary »
In 8th-century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over the ... See full summary »
Normandy, second half of the nineteenth century. Jeanne Dandieu lives in a manor house with her parents and their servant Rosalie. She gets to know Julien, a handsome man, whom she soon ... See full summary »
When I watched this film, I had no idea who Mark Donskoy was or how he fit into Russian cinema history. I know now that he studied film under Eisenstein in 1926 and that Maxim Gorky is a major influence. Knowing that Donskoy's MAXIM GORKY trilogy is a classic is no surprise. He's been linked to Eisenstein and Dovzhenko. A lot of the pastoral shots are indeed reminiscent of Dovzhenko's film EARTH. The film is two stories in one: one is a love story between Ostap(Yuri Dedovich) and Solomia (Vera Donskaya) played by two beautiful looking actors (Donskaya has Sophia Loren type beauty and Dedovich is a dead ringer for Omar Sharif) ; the other is a serf vs. seigneur story that fits in well with Gorky's"socialist realism" themes. The film has many unbelievably realistic scenes and a few phony ones. The Ukrainian heritage (costume and dance) are worth the view alone. There are several scenes that leave a lasting impression: one with a jealous man trying to whip a laughing, dancing maiden and another a tableaux involving a huge windmill. The fade in and out between scenes is red and not black, probably not symbolic but it might be. It's a neat effect, anyway. The music at times seems to recall DR. ZHIVAGO and I would not be surprised if it was discovered that David Lean viewed this film as a starting point. Overall, this is a pleasant view that will have you cheering for the young couple Ostap and Solomia as their race for freedom and unity take us through the highs and lows of life in 1830 Ukraine.
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