Aleksander Dovzhenko: War Trilogy DVD
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Directed by Aleksandr Dovzhenko
Produced in 1928-30
Main Language - Silent with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - Russian Film
Alexander Dovzhenko is regarded as one of the most neglected major filmmakers of the 20th Century. This set presents his three major works which comprise his remarkable 'Ukraine Trilogy' - Zvenigora, Arsenal and Earth - which chronicle the country's tumultuous transformation from a pastoral, traditional, society into a modern communist state.
Zvenigora: A silent revolutionary epic and a remarkable avant-garde film, Zvenigora is almost religious in its tone, relating a millennium of Ukrainian history through the story of an old man who tells his grandson about a treasure buried in a mountain. The film wonderfully blends both lyricism and politics and uses its central construct to build a montage praising Ukrainian industrialisation, attacking the European bourgeoisie, celebrating the beauty of the Ukrainian steppe and re-telling ancient folklore.
Arsenal is Alexander Dovzhenko's remarkable, action-packed account of the effects of World War I on his Ukrainian compatriots, and is remarkably vivid even today. It is set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the war, through which 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 Timosh soon begins to clash with the city’s authorities when he starts to agitate for the adoption of the Soviet system. The film's defence of the Sovietisation of the region is an unavoidable document of its time, though Dovzhenko's extraordinarily lyrical sensibility shines through even the more crudely propagandist sections. Of the film, the Chicago Tribune said that it ‘represents the summit of Soviet cinema and remains one of the most poetic and visually beautiful of all Russian films'.
Earth: A visually stunning masterpiece, Earth was commissioned to promote the collectivisation of the Soviet rural economy, but its story of rural prosperity through technical progress takes a back seat to the incredible images that fill the screen in this great film poem, which is as much a paean to a pagan past as a depiction of the march of progress.
Publisher: Mr Bongo
Length: 255 mins
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 24th September 2012
Cat No: MRBDVD049
- 3 discs