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152 Ratings



Directed by Boris Barnet
Soviet Union, 1933
Drama, War


The changes Russia underwent during WWI are revealed in a village on the Russo-German border. Soldiers face the absurdity of trench warfare, while at home the war alters the people, friendships are poisoned by nationalism, and a romance between a Russian and a German POW is greeted with suspicion.

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Outskirts Directed by Boris Barnet

Critics reviews

The stylized sound track is highly inventive and original. Within the first few moments cheers are synchronized with blasts of steam from a train engine, the sound of a roomful of cobblers hammering away at shoes registers like a bit of electronic music, and there’s even a horse that briefly speaks — a trope that’s easy to associate with Dovzhenko’s silent pictures.
February 06, 2004
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What are people saying?

  • Jason's rating of the film Outskirts

    Oh man. Though contemporary audiences may not be aware of how wildly subversive the goofy elements were at the time, this will presumably not not stop them from being won over by them. And then some of it is very far from goofy. Barnet is the best. Hadn't seen this in a very long time. Thank you, MUBI!

  • Dogville59's rating of the film Outskirts

    An inspiring film showing events before and during the Russian revolution as seen through the eyes of a typical town. The film subtly puts forward the message that all average people are brothers be they Russians or Germans and that the real enemy is not each other but instead is the people in power. For an early sound film the sound effects were quite something at times mocking the folly of war.

  • Lorna Singh's rating of the film Outskirts

    Life in a small town before the Revolution and ,at the opening,just before the First World War.Before the battlefield scenes,the shift from the various segments was clever as we meet the residents. Unforgettable---the scene of the Russian soldier saving a German from being killed.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Outskirts

    CINEMA, 35mm _ It is not the light and funny Barnet you might have known from his other films but there are still here and there elements of comedy. But you'll learn that, thanks to his great knowledge of film grammar, Barnet is also great in drama, as in the middle section of this war film. Impressive tension and hidden love story. Some clichés but all together a solid classic, even better on a big screen.

  • Framarcar's rating of the film Outskirts

    contains two of the most brutal death scenes (one of a soldier another one of an animal) in the history of cinema. Also loads of absurdist slapstick, tragic moments, grandiose music, weird sound effects, a great romance and action scenes as dynamic as a shootout in an hong kong 80s film.

  • Ellie Groom's rating of the film Outskirts

    Inventive and likeable wartime drama, with startling battle sequences. The soundtrack is not as creative as other Russian films of the period (I recommend Alone, also starring Yelena Kuzmina and a score by Shostakovich mixed in with innovative sound effects).

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Outskirts

    An intelligent, moving and genuinely patriotic film that mixes national effervescence, internal schisms and romance in ways that plays on the idea that conflict unites. The class dimension is retained despite its appeasement in the national struggle against the Germans. Forgiveness is one of the moral messages that stems from this powerful film about WWI. The acting and many scenes of tragedy are of a high standard.

  • Mighty Quinn's rating of the film Outskirts

    Excellent Russian war drama from the early days of sound film that takes a surprisingly humane approach to depicting the enemy, unlike later Soviet propaganda movies made in the 40s. The battle scenes are quite harrowing too, drawing comparisons to "All Quiet on the Western Front" made just three years prior in the US.

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