Imdb User Comment:
Many treasures have been buried (for ever?) in ex-USSR archives. Many movies have been made as too obvious communist propaganda and irritated people on both sides of Iron curtain. Many others that have been showing life from their point of view have stayed despised, neglected and forgotten because of the former ones: people simply overlooked other qualities they had. And finally, many Soviet movies (as well as many made in their satellite countries) didn’t include any politics, showing life stories that could be made anywhere, but people didn’t give them a chance just because of bad experience they had with other Eastern Europe movies
Authors beyond Iron Curtain have been censored, investigated, imprisoned if they expressed political attitudes that didn’t follow official ones. But other than that directors had a great freedom hard to compare with today circumstances, not only in USA (where they are completely under producer’s control). As movies were made after political decisions, those that were approved didn’t need to worry either about money for making them or for audience big enough to return invested money. They were free art as made by old painters who lived in poverty and didn’t expect millions for their works, painting from their hearts.
Many of these movies wouldn’t find any audience today, even if coming from more popular movie sources. Slow (or very slow) with long camera shots, developing one scene longer than a whole chapter lasts in modern movies, with many shots showing nothing but nature and environment with no direct connection to the plot, or simply faces with (sometimes poor, depending on actor’s qualities) facial expressions, not changing for half or whole minute… You need to be more than average patient person to withstand to the end.
If you can enjoy little things, if you like landscapes, if you are satisfied with a plot that can be said in one short paragraph and with two or three quite obvious (but not aggressive) messages, you should check this movie (but probably after a long search).
This movie is rock and foam. Now, don’t look in dictionaries what this phrase means. It is not a phrase but a content of the movie. During half of footage you see rocks, sea, sometimes sky with clouds, some birds and dolphins are there too (and crabs even more, but they have some relation to the plot). Long aerial sight of the rocks with slow music in the background remind on the opening minutes of “Sound of Music”. Only no one sings in “The Girls and the Echo”.
Sound is important, however, because echo is a gift, a beauty that nature gives us. But if we reject the nature, it will refuse to award us. The echo is lost for the boy who betrays a girl who was living in harmony with nature. Interesting message when we remember that movie was made in early 60’s, before nature disasters that are becoming frequent as a revenge for our torturing the nature. Also, there is a clear use of music: the opening main theme, somewhere between Strauss and Tchaikovsky (or Musorgsky) is interrupted by rock music every time when a group of boys come to the beach – as they interrupt a boy-girl relation, too. And, like this opposed music styles, two metal objects stand on opponent sides: a trumpet that girl (Vika) uses to play the theme and an old can someone has thrown away on the beach (early ecology again) which boys use to play football making some more noise.
The main message, however, is: be careful when making a choice. Sometimes you can never mend what you’ve done if you make a wrong one. The boy had to chose between a girl and a group of boys. Vika, feeling a part of nature, always swims nude, having no problems with him being there, but doesn’t want all those boys as a public. Boy refuses to help her get the dress and she, embarrassed but proud, comes among them, takes clothes and leaves. No one likes traitors, not even children (remember “St. Paul Street Boys”) and boy won’t be accepted by peers, and when he loses the echo he tries to change, but the damage has been done and he loses the girl too. Even if you are forgiven, you can’t expect things to stay the same after making the wrong choice…
So, if you have a chance, make a good choice and watch this real family movie. Just relax and let the beauty of nature, simple story and music mesmerize you.