East Side Story (1997)
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Critic Reviews for East Side Story
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Audience Reviews for East Side Story
A documentary about Communist musicals! Seriously though, this documentary is very entertaining and fascinating. Of course the clips are rather hilarious, farm girls singing to their pigs and physical labour replacing choreographed dance sequences, but some of the films look genuinely fun, like "Midnight Revue", "The Little White Mouse" and "Hot Summer".
"East Side Story" is a fun and informative documentary about musicals made behind the Iron Curtain, mostly focusing on those made in East Germany and the Soviet Union. The film relies on clips and interviews with performers, officials, and audience members talking about the films and how difficult it was to make them under the censorious regimes.(It was hard enough to simply make a film and have it released but it was even harder for a musical.) The musicals strived to be a mix between entertainment for the masses(which tried to compete with Hollywood musicals of the same time) and propaganda by the government. The makers of this documentary argue for a more flexible type of Communism, one that would give artists more creative freedom. "East Side Story" gives a good glimpse at a little known part of cinematic history.(Most of the films discussed have not been released here in the States.) I was entertained by the clips and would very much like to see some of these movies in their entirety.
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