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Bitter Harvest lives down to its title with a clichéd wartime romance whose clumsy melodrama dishonors the victims of the real-life horrors it uses as a backdrop.
All Critics (59)
| Top Critics (19)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (51)
This is a story of villainous oppression, unfortunately told with oppressive earnestness.
It's not Zhivago. The big picture is drawn a little too hastily for that. But it is a rousing tale with political pertinence, given the current state of relations between Russia and the Ukraine.
Almost inevitably, approaching the Holodomor via a standard-length dramatic feature risks reducing the cataclysm's enormity to a trivializing size and emotional impact.
This is a shameful piece of history that deserves a far better film.
An odd mix of incompetence and ambition.
While one may applaud the intention, the execution is markedly uneven.
Clearly a deeply felt film whose producers' mission is to cast a spotlight on a hidden Ukrainian tragedy, Bitter Harvest has difficulty living up to the powerful tragic sweep of its subject.
At times it felt as if it was trying to emulate David Lean's 1966 masterpiece, Dr Zhivago, although it didn't even come within a whisper of it.
While Mendeluk's film is well intentioned and mildly intriguing, it falls well short of grandness.
Despite the fact that it was a genocide that claimed millions of lives, the Holodomor is not particularly well known. Bitter Harvest is not the film to bring attention to it.
A watchable effort that sheds light on the atrocities that happened under Joseph Stalin's rule.
Nevertheless, in Bitter Harvest the merciless actions are clear, the effect indisputable.
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