Maria is a film requiem for a Russian peasant woman, Maria Semionovna Voinova. Maria Semionovna had grown flax all her life. When she died her knowledge of working in the fields and the methods of agriculture died with her.
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Any one of us could only hope that a remembrance of our life was compiled in such a humble and honest way. Sokurov allows the countryside and fields to lament; the family and friends to turn their care into time-travel in primitive machines; and we the audience to appreciate a single stalk of flax, a woman, a life.
Reminding me of Blake:
"Many ages of groans, till there grew
Branchy forms organizing the Human."