7.3/10
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7 user 12 critic

East Side Story (1997)

A look at Communist musicals that strove to be ideologically correct - and entertaining, besides.

Director:

Dana Ranga
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Margarita Andrushkovich Margarita Andrushkovich ... Herself (as Margarita Andruschkovitsch)
Chris Doerk Chris Doerk ... Herself
Erich Gusko Erich Gusko ... Himself
Helmut Hanke Helmut Hanke ... Himself
Barbara Harnisch Barbara Harnisch ... Party Girl
Brit Krüger Brit Krüger ... Party Girl
Andrea Schmidt Andrea Schmidt ... Party Girl
Karin Schröder Karin Schröder ... Herself
Frank Schöbel Frank Schöbel ... Himself
Maya Turovskaya Maya Turovskaya ... Herself (film historian)
Brigitte Ulbrich Brigitte Ulbrich ... Herself
Hans-Joachim Wallstein Hans-Joachim Wallstein ... Himself
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Storyline

"That's Entertainment!," Communist style. A documentary about movie musicals produced during the height of the old Soviet bloc. Comrades drive tractors, sweep factory floors, feed farm animals, harvest crops, all the while singing their hearts out about the joys of socialism. Included are interviews with people involved in the making of some of these movies, as well as a film historian and nostalgic moviegoers. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

f rated | filmmaking | communism | See All (3) »

Taglines:

All Singing! All Dancing! All Marxist Musicals!

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Details

Country:

France | Germany

Release Date:

25 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assim Dançou o Comunismo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anda Film, Canal+, DocStar See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: What do you know about life there? What did anyone ever hear about except the grayness, the militarism, and the constant beating of propaganda?
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Crazy Credits

The end credits dedicate the film "to Karl Marx, without whom none of this would have been necessary." See more »

Connections

Features Nicht schummeln, Liebling (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Hills Are Alive - With the Sound of Communists
27 October 1998 | by genekimSee all my reviews

When I went to see this documentary on Communist bloc musicals, I was expecting something totally demented, along the lines of a Communist "Cop Rock." Some scenes did deliver, including a rousing clip from a Soviet film called "Tractor Drivers."

You'd think that moviemakers given the task of making ideologically correct musicals that sing, dance and espouse the Party line face insurmountable odds. And yet, one of the surprises of "East Side Story" is that some of the films presented actually looked promising. One was a mid-1950s East German effort called "My Wife Wants to Sing," in which, as the title implies, an unhappy hausfrau seeks to launch a singing career over the objections of her traditionally-minded husband.

Another genuinely interesting-looking movie, also from East Germany, was called "Midnight Revue." In this film-within-a-film, the producers spoof their own creative plight with the story of a group of filmmakers under Party orders to make a musical. (The on-screen filmmakers themselves get to do a musical number about avoiding "too hot" subjects very reminiscent in tone of the 1957 movie "Silk Stockings.")

The documentary is marred by somewhat insipid narration, but it's still a lot of fun to watch. (Look for the closing dedication to the person who made it all possible.)


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