Zemlya (Earth) (Soil) Reviews

  • Feb 27, 2021

    "Earth" is not russian, but ukrainian film. It is important. Fix it, please. And so Dovzhenko is ukrainian director, so it should be "Olexandr" instead of "Alexander" ("Alexander" is russian form). Thoughts about Dovzhenko being russian is nothing more, than russian propaganda and you shouldn't promote it.

    "Earth" is not russian, but ukrainian film. It is important. Fix it, please. And so Dovzhenko is ukrainian director, so it should be "Olexandr" instead of "Alexander" ("Alexander" is russian form). Thoughts about Dovzhenko being russian is nothing more, than russian propaganda and you shouldn't promote it.

  • Jan 31, 2021

    Controversial in the USSR for depicting a view of communism that wasn't necessarily the simplistic party ideology of "us vs. the capitalists", Earth actually succeeds due in large part to its divergence from propaganda standards, depicting a narrative in which collectivism is presented in accordance with nature and humanitarian principles. There is still a strict adherence to party lines, with technological advances being presented as a champion of dynamic social change, along with the reduced influence of religion, but there is also a very natural element brought to life by the vivid depictions of wheat fields and orchards that was often not considered in a political order that placed most of its focus on change, modernization, and novelty. Often flounting conventional narrative progression and opting for the Soviet montage editing style, Earth creates a unique identity even compared to Eisenstein and the other Soviet avant garde propagandists; it often has a somewhat surreal, dreamlike quality that would only be rediscovered decades later in the works of directors such as Tarkovsky. Makes me want to watch some more Dovzhenko. (4/5)

    Controversial in the USSR for depicting a view of communism that wasn't necessarily the simplistic party ideology of "us vs. the capitalists", Earth actually succeeds due in large part to its divergence from propaganda standards, depicting a narrative in which collectivism is presented in accordance with nature and humanitarian principles. There is still a strict adherence to party lines, with technological advances being presented as a champion of dynamic social change, along with the reduced influence of religion, but there is also a very natural element brought to life by the vivid depictions of wheat fields and orchards that was often not considered in a political order that placed most of its focus on change, modernization, and novelty. Often flounting conventional narrative progression and opting for the Soviet montage editing style, Earth creates a unique identity even compared to Eisenstein and the other Soviet avant garde propagandists; it often has a somewhat surreal, dreamlike quality that would only be rediscovered decades later in the works of directors such as Tarkovsky. Makes me want to watch some more Dovzhenko. (4/5)

  • Jan 15, 2018

    1001 movies to see before you die. It was certainly artistic, but the plot was confusing. Powerful visuals.

    1001 movies to see before you die. It was certainly artistic, but the plot was confusing. Powerful visuals.

  • May 20, 2016

    Earth is silent-era communist propaganda that achieves its near-masterpiece status with its beautiful photography and pioneering editing.

    Earth is silent-era communist propaganda that achieves its near-masterpiece status with its beautiful photography and pioneering editing.

  • Jul 05, 2015

    Recipe for critical praise: An hour of propaganda bookended by beautiful nature scenes and infants eating fruit

    Recipe for critical praise: An hour of propaganda bookended by beautiful nature scenes and infants eating fruit

  • Jun 06, 2015

    With problematic editing, troublesome directing, awfully short running time, tedious and unrealized story, Earth is one of the most overrated as well as the most frustrating Russian films. It has solid score, great cinematography and fine acting, but everything else is underused, it fails to make use of its promising subject matter and it is overall an incredibly flawed and boring movie which fails miserably when compared to other Classic Soviet films of the era.

    With problematic editing, troublesome directing, awfully short running time, tedious and unrealized story, Earth is one of the most overrated as well as the most frustrating Russian films. It has solid score, great cinematography and fine acting, but everything else is underused, it fails to make use of its promising subject matter and it is overall an incredibly flawed and boring movie which fails miserably when compared to other Classic Soviet films of the era.

  • Nov 08, 2013

    If I'm absolutely honest I wasn't particularly impressed with this. It's beautiful to look at in parts and some of the editing is quite advanced for its time but on the whole it really doesn't feel that groundbreaking; it's one of those films that critics rave about and it's hard to understand why. Chaplin made City Lights just a year after this and that is lightyears ahead of what is on display here. Earth has a strong message and some historical significance because of the place and period in which it was made but it has just a mere outline of a story and barely sketched characters.

    If I'm absolutely honest I wasn't particularly impressed with this. It's beautiful to look at in parts and some of the editing is quite advanced for its time but on the whole it really doesn't feel that groundbreaking; it's one of those films that critics rave about and it's hard to understand why. Chaplin made City Lights just a year after this and that is lightyears ahead of what is on display here. Earth has a strong message and some historical significance because of the place and period in which it was made but it has just a mere outline of a story and barely sketched characters.

  • Oct 31, 2013

    An ukrainian village buys a communal tractor, but when a wealthy landowner kills the peasant driver, he becomes a godhead figure, representing all the good in atheistic communism.

    An ukrainian village buys a communal tractor, but when a wealthy landowner kills the peasant driver, he becomes a godhead figure, representing all the good in atheistic communism.

  • Feb 09, 2013

    Great Basil prophets destruction as cows horses and Gods overdrive the machine of the people, by the people for the people because of the industrial revelation and existence of evil, great competition of evil which threatens existence of life, death...resurrection. Silent Masters, stands test of era, collides powerful and unforgettable, and horrifying.

    Great Basil prophets destruction as cows horses and Gods overdrive the machine of the people, by the people for the people because of the industrial revelation and existence of evil, great competition of evil which threatens existence of life, death...resurrection. Silent Masters, stands test of era, collides powerful and unforgettable, and horrifying.

  • Dec 19, 2012

    'Earth' is a horrifyingly Manichean propaganda film... made just as Stalin was launching his 1929-30 'all-out drive' which would lead to the death of between 4 and 10 million peasants primarily in Ukraine.... films like this one made it easier for the Soviet authorities to wage war against their own people and justify mass starvation as an instrument of policy. No easy claims of "the director's subversive intention" by Western film critics should blind us to the role artists like Alexander Dovzhenko played in legitimising the Soviet totalitarian order. But disgust at the generous doses of lethal propaganda must be tinged with a degree of admiration for Dovzhenko's artistry: no film has given inanimate objects such as wheat fields or apple trees a more powerful screen presence!

    'Earth' is a horrifyingly Manichean propaganda film... made just as Stalin was launching his 1929-30 'all-out drive' which would lead to the death of between 4 and 10 million peasants primarily in Ukraine.... films like this one made it easier for the Soviet authorities to wage war against their own people and justify mass starvation as an instrument of policy. No easy claims of "the director's subversive intention" by Western film critics should blind us to the role artists like Alexander Dovzhenko played in legitimising the Soviet totalitarian order. But disgust at the generous doses of lethal propaganda must be tinged with a degree of admiration for Dovzhenko's artistry: no film has given inanimate objects such as wheat fields or apple trees a more powerful screen presence!