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Zemlya (Earth) (Soil)

Zemlya (Earth) (Soil) (1930)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,207

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Movie Info

Earth (AKA Zemlya) is the third of Soviet director Alexander Dovzhenko's "Ukraine tetralogy" (Zvenigora (1928), Arsenal (1929), and Ivan (1932) are the other films in the series). The story tells of a group of farmers in a Ukrainian village, who unite to purchase a tractor. The leader of the peasants is later killed by a kulak, or landowner, who dislikes any form of united front that might pose a threat to his long-established authority. The events fade into memory, but the long-ranging effects

Jan 22, 2002

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2) | DVD (3)

The astonishingly beautiful Earth is unlike anything else in movies.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Much of this film is chaotic, especially during the church episode and some of the closing scenes.

January 28, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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A very great film indeed.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Incontestably one of the greatest of all Soviet films.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Dovzhenko's grave and jubilant landmark

September 1, 2014 Full Review Source: CinePassion

A unique political poem.

February 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The tragedy of Dovzhenko is that of a gifted cineaste stymied and almost maddened by the demands, actual and implicit, of his ultra-repressive state sponsors.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a simple propaganda piece that overcomes its flaws through graceful cinematography and editing.

April 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A stunning achievement by turns beautiful, poignant and silently subversive.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Film4

In Aleksandr Dovzhenko's orgiastic paean to Soviet collectivism and tractor-ism Earth there is nothing more beautiful than the untainted countryside.

February 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Supposed classic -- for art house diehards only.

December 29, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The vitality of the landscape is mirrored in the faces of the community's hardy young peasants.

November 19, 2002 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Audience Reviews for Zemlya (Earth) (Soil)

Dovzhenko gets to show off his filming techniques, but the story isn't all that interesting, and the movie is very slow and boring. I didn't care for this at all.
September 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Earth" and "The End of St. Petersburg" are two silent films made in the Soviet Union in 1927 and 1930, respectively. They were made to advance certain political feelings of the state, but what makes them better than mere propoganda, is the power of the images involved. "Earth" is about the introduction of machinery to a rural village. "The End of St. Petersburg" starts out in pre-revolution Russia, as workers are forced to migrate to the title city in search of work. What they find is a city of workers that are being starved by the capitalists. St. Petersburg, here represents, capitalism, which comes to an end in Russia with the Russian Revolution. I prefer "The End of St. Petersburg" because of a better story.[/color][/font]
January 17, 2014
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A great looking and amazingly edited Russian silent film about poor farmers vs. rich farmers. It needed more title cards and story, but the editing is way before it's time. That's the Russians for you.
January 9, 2011

Super Reviewer

I still can't decide whether this should be a 3 1/2 or 4 star rating, maybe I'll change it once I've had a little longer to take it all in.
Anyway, "Earth" is the story of how the poor Ukranian farmers protested against the Kulaks (rich peasant farmers). Of course this is a Marxist propaganda film, but that and the plot are not really of importance. What is of importance is the beautiful images that Dovzhenko captures.
I may have only seen one film by Dovzhenko and one film by Eisenstein but as this point and can say that I prefer the former, who is somewhat overshadowed by the latters work.
The story may be a bit weak and the title cards don't seem to translate to well but this is defiantly one to see for the memorable images.
May 6, 2008
Emily B.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Earth (Zemlya) (DE)
  • Earth (UK)
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