A young farmer and his lazy father try to help with the construction of the Dniprohes, but he learns that strength is not enough for a worker and joins the Communist party.Read More »
A remarkable rarity, Dovzhenko’s unfinished final film was a response to the atmosphere of intrigues and espionage – real or imagined – that dominated the early Cold War era. In protest of the intensifying postwar anti-communist witch hunt, American journalist Annabelle Bucard emigrated to Russia and became a Soviet citizen; her book, The Truth About American Diplomats, was published in English and Russian in 1949. That book, and aspects of Ms. Bucard’s life, formed the basis for FAREWELL, AMERICA. Shortly after the Allied victory, an idealistic “Anna Bedford” gets a job in Moscow at the U.S. Embassy, which she promptly discovers is crawling with spies.Read More »
1921-1930Aleksandr DovzhenkoDramaSilentSoviet silent cinemaUSSR
There is a mysterious place in the midst of the Ukrainian steppes, the Zvenyhora, or the Ringing Mountain. According to folk legends it harbors invaluable treasures of the Scythians. The entire chain of historic events that left their trace on the face of Ukraine – the Varangians, the nomad invaders, the struggle against the Polish gentry, the Haidamaka uprising, the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution – are connected by one image of a Ukrainian old man, ageless, ingenuous, enterprising, cunning and indestructible – Dovzhenko’s personification of Ukrainian identity itself. The old man’s entire life is devoted to hunting for the illusive hidden treasures, which, as the film unfolds increasingly appear as a metaphor of Ukraine’s national soul and its – yet unlocked – spiritual potential. In the process, the old man is torn between his grandson Pavlo, epitome of the Ukrainian nationalist cause, and Tymishko, forward-looking, proletariat-oriented Bolshevik. The old man, instigated by Pavlo attempts to derail the Bolshevik train of progress. He is captured by Tymish’s comrades-in-arms, forgiven and taken on board the train speeding away towards the bright new day.Read More »
1921-1930Aleksandr DovzhenkoAmos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtDramaUSSRWar
Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kiev, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides with a national celebration of Ukrainian freedom, but the festivities are not to last as a disenchanted.Read More »
Dovzhenko’s “film poem” style brings to life the collective experience of life for the Ukranian proles, examining natural cycles through his epic montage. He explores life, death, violence, sex, and other issues as they relate to the collective farms. An idealistic vision of the possibilities of Communism made just before Stalinism set in and the Kulack class was liquidated, “Earth” was viewed negatively by many Soviets because of its exploration of death and other dark issues that come with revolution.—Jeff WalkerRead More »
Osvobozhdeniye AKA Liberation
Liberation features events of the Soviet occupation of western Ukraine, at the time a part of Poland, after the out-break of the Second World War in September 1939. Following official Soviet historiography, the film presents the annexation of Western Ukraine, the result of the Nazi-Bolshevik partition of Poland, as the historic act of “reunification of all Ukrainian lands into one Soviet-Ukrainian state.” Scenes include: a Hutsul village public meeting addressed by Dovzhenko himself; the opening of the People’s Assembly of Western Ukraine in L’viv, October 26th, 1939; the opening of the People’s Assembly in Bialystok; adoption of the act of reunification of Western Ukraine with the Ukrainian SSR by the Ukrainian Soviet Parliament in Kyiv and by the Supreme Soviet in Moscow.Read More »
Michurin aka Life in Bloom
The film is about the life and work of the prominent Russian biologist Ivan Michurin. Reports of gardener-Michurin’s extraordinary experiments with plants reach far beyond the borders of the Russian empire. Trying to persuade him to move to the United States, a group of Americans comes to the village where Michurin lives. They promise him all kinds of benefits. But Michurin, despite his lack of recognition by the government, is devoted to Russia. Overcoming obstacles created by the tsarist bureaucracy, the scientist continues with his experiments on natural selection and dreams of the time when all people will be able to take full advantage of his achievements. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 makes his dreams come true and Michurin’s orchard in Kozlov becomes a center of Soviet experimental biology.
Awards. Stalin National Prize of the Second Degree, 1949. The Labor Prize at the Gottwaldov (now Zlin) Film Festival, Czechoslovakia, 1949.Read More »
Cinemapoem about building of Dniproges (Dnieper Hydroelectric Station), about the fate of rural fellow which comes together with other boys and girls to build one of most buildings of socialist industrial construction. Narrates the language of the poetic cinema of O. Dovzhenko about the process of alteration of consciousness of rural fellow due to industrialization.
Recipient of an award on ICF in Venice in 1934.Read More »
Drama1931-1940Aleksandr DovzhenkoUSSRYuliya Solntseva
The year is 1919. German troops retreat from Ukraine. The Directory, the Ukrainian national government lead by Symon Petliura, takes control of Kyiv. Meanwhile, the Bolshevik division commanded by Mykola Shchors is marching on the capital. The Bolsheviks capture the cities of Vinnytsia, Zhmerynka, and others one by one, but lose Berdychiv to Petliura’s forces. They are demoralized by the defeat. By his personal example of courage and military skill, Shchors inspires the retreating Red troops and leads them to victory over the enemy.Read More »