As the clouds of war spread over Russia during Germany’s surprise invasion in 1941, the fervent young lovers, the sensitive Veronika and the stalwart Boris, are parted when the patriotic lad secretly volunteers for the war effort. During the following hard years, Veronika who serves her country as a wartime-nurse will lose communication with Boris, moreover, when a devastating air raid destroys her house and Boris’ father takes her in to live with the family, unexpectedly, things will take a turn for the worse. Before long, the worried fiancée will find herself dealing not only with the dark thoughts of Boris’ potential loss but also with the burden of an unwelcome decision. Once, the star-crossed lovers swore eternal devotion under a flock of flying cranes, still, a war is always cruel and eternally disastrous.
Ian Christie – in this new program, critic Ian Christie discusses the socio-political environment in which The Cranes are Flying emerged, the film’s style and success, and the life and career of its creator, Mikhail Kalatozov. In English, not subtitled. (19 min, 1080p).
Mikhail Kalatozov – in this archival interview, director Mikhail Kalatozov discusses his fondness of ‘poetic cinema’, his creative imagination and the goals he set for himself while shooting films, and some of the key qualities that defined Soviet cinema after the end of the war. The interview was conducted by critic Gideon Bachmann at the Moscow International Film Festival in July, 1961. In Russian and English, with optional English subtitles where necessary. (12 min, 1080p).
Portrait of Sergei Urusevsky – presented here is an excerpt from an archival documentary on Sergei Urusevsky which features the cinematographer’s drawings for The Cranes Are Flying, along with interviews with his daughter, Irina Urusevskaya, and actor Alexei Batalov. The documentary was produced in 2008. In Russian, with optional English subtitles. (19 min, 1080p).
The Road to Cannes – in this archival program, Claude Lelouch recalls his first trip to Moscow in the early 1950s where he witnessed the shooting of The Cranes Are Flying, which inspired him to become a director. The program features archival footage that Lelouch was allowed to shoot in Moscow, footage from the famous stairway sequence from The Cranes Are Flying, as well as footage from the Cannes Film Festival where the film won the Palme d’Or Award. In Russian, with optional English subtitles. (5 min, 1080p).
2.09GB | 1h 36m | 790×576 | mkv