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The Woman With The 5 Elephants (2011)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 414

My Rating

Movie Info

The 5 elephants are Dostoyevsky's great literary works, all of which have been translated by the 87-year-old Svetlana Geier, considered the world's most masterful translator of Russian literature into German. The filmmaker visits with a woman whose fascinating, dramatic life story has been colored by some of the most violent events in 20th century European history: Stalin's purges of the kulaks (responsible for her father's death) and the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine (ultimately responsible

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Vadim Jendreyko

$6.7k

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (1)

Perhaps this was just a matter of a great mind feeling as if her life spoke for itself.

July 22, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quietly astonishing.

July 21, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It would probably be enough just to observe Geier's daily routine; she's fascinating even when silently contemplating a page in her next project.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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Vintage newsreels and family photos add depth to this meditative film.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Geier, who died in 2010, speaks on all subjects -- from her son's mortal injury to the nature of her various collaborations -- with the contemplative, courtly intelligence of her favorite novels.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an interesting story, well told, though Mr. Jendreyko overworks some documentary fallbacks: gnarled fingers, the view from a moving train.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Literary Translators Gone Wild!

May 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A no-nonsense intelligently engaging biopic documentary.

March 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Jendreyko has clearly considered how best to translate an entire life into a movie.

July 20, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

The film eventually reveals itself as a specific appreciation of a job done well, rather than a rosy-eyed celebration.

July 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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July 21, 2011:
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Foreign Titles

  • Die Frau mit den 5 Elefanten (DE)
  • The Woman With the 5 Elephants (Die Frau mit den 5 Elefanten) (UK)
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