Zemlya (Earth) (Soil) (1930)
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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 of the peasant "revolt"--like the Earth itself--last forever. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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as Village Priest
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Critic Reviews for Zemlya (Earth) (Soil)
The astonishingly beautiful Earth is unlike anything else in movies.
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.
Much of this film is chaotic, especially during the church episode and some of the closing scenes.
It's a simple propaganda piece that overcomes its flaws through graceful cinematography and editing.
A stunning achievement by turns beautiful, poignant and silently subversive.
In Aleksandr Dovzhenko's orgiastic paean to Soviet collectivism and tractor-ism Earth there is nothing more beautiful than the untainted countryside.
Supposed classic -- for art house diehards only.
The vitality of the landscape is mirrored in the faces of the community's hardy young peasants.
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.More
[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]More
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.More
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.
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