doesn't feel like a Stalin-Soviet produced film at all, it's more like a French Realism-influenced film with a few clunky application of Communism propaganda that almost feels like a parody. but in the end it's still a beautiful transfiguration between silent structuralism and sound movies; stylization and fidelity within the best usage of sea captured on celluloid i've ever seen since A Flor Do Mar
Rarement l'océan n'aura été filmé avec un tel bonheur, dans une véritable fusion organique de l'élément liquide avec son environnement humain et spatial. De plus, sans jamais sombrer dans un prosélytisme pro-soviétique, à la gloire de la patente révolution bolchévique, en filigrane, l'oeuvre distille une intense joie de vivre, fraternelle et communautaire. www.cinefiches.com
Absolutely gorgeous. A movie that defies the supposed boundaries between sound and silent film, drama and comedy, realism and stylization. You find yourself washed up (along with Alyosha and Yusuf) on the coast of the Caspian but also on the shores of memory and desire.
You'd expect a movie in which every single character was typified by unaffected innocence to be, at best, pretty annoying... Instead, this playful 'love triangle' story, set in an idealized communist fishing village in Soviet Azerbaijan. turned out to be surprisingly disarming, poignant in contrast to both the reality of Stalinism, and our modern cynicism. Beautifully shot. And the 'intervention' scene was genius.
A mostly endearing story of love that finds two shipmates helping at an island farm/fishing village commune after being shipwrecked and both falling in love with the same woman. There is underlying political jargon throughout but it doesn't take away from the pastoral setting and the genuine emotion the story raises. An under sung gem.
Preciosa e irrepetible. "Elena Kuzmina, rubísima, humidísima, azulísima, es la Macha de Al borde del mar azul, milagro hecho mujer o mujer hecha milagro en esta película entre todas milagrosa y de la que el último de los grandes críticos, Serge Daney, habló obsesiva e incansablemente hasta el día de su muerte" (J. B. da Costa)
Boris Barnet has created his Caspian Sea island as a space of otherness, a compelling natural home, away from the bleak and uncertain realities of Soviet life. There is a sense of watching ‘natural’ uncomplicated people in a natural environment buffeted by wind and sea. This is a seriously moving and under-recognised film.
Did Boris Barnet, Jean Vigo, and the bunch that made People on a Sunday meet in a cafe somewhere in the early thirties and hatch plans to make films about love and beauty and youth that are open to the future and slight in the deepest way? The whole world was about to be shattered but it doesn't take away from the beauty, openness and joy of the film -- it highlights the different ways things might have gone.
It is the melancholy nonnarrative film beneath the story with its evocations of an eternal return (the Qohelethic 'nothing new under the sun' tempered with an acceptance of the vagaries of life) and that astonishing footage of the sea (some of the best I have seen) that makes this such an essential film for me...