After the critical lambasting of his masterpiece Earth, Dovzhenko returned with a more popular iteration of its main motifs. Much like Earth, Ivan concerns itself with the natural rhythms of country life, disrupted by the beat of looming industrialisation.
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How talented so many of these Soviet directors were! And what drivel they wasted it on! Who loves cement and smokestacks more than Americans? The Soviets. But seeing beauty in cement and smokestacks is something only mentally sick people do. A unintentional critique of the imbecility of collectives, five year plans, the society. And kids, if your pop's a "shirker," publicly denounce him. A morally ugly film.
There're more to add about the shirker father here, Dovzhenko ridiculed his idleness the way Chaplin ridiculed his The Tramp character's illiteracy, the sequence where he running around resembled The Tramp so much. One of the few funny figures in Dov's feature oeuvre that is treated with likability, intentionally