endearingly idealistic, both politically and about education. as a teacher it is a delight to watch. beautifully crafted with classic elements of Russian musical, artistic and theatrical tradition. Although not as modern as films of its era in the West, it is a sophisticated and intelligent film and provides a fastinating insight into the Soviet mythology and it's place in Russian culture.
[3.5] Simple people with strong feelings wrapped up in such a poetic, almost naive, yet never boring or uncreative cinematography. Even though stripped from complex elements a more realistic approach would have demanded, its politically constrained narrative managed to pay a quite charm tribute to teaching and Education.
A moving film with its heart in the right place. The cinematography was interesting though there were cheesy parts and the occasional background that looked like it was drawn onto a wall. The message was to get as much education as you possibly can, be modest, serve your fellow human beings, support collectivism and your country. I cannot argue with the push to valuing education. We need more of that these days.
Of course the film is victim of its heavy ideology but Kalatozov faced at that time the same difficulties and made nevertheless masterpieces. Donskoy have that much talent. The film is everything but academic : look at the creativity, the camera movements, the simple but powerful poetry. I understand that it is hard to separate the form from its message but this here is great cinema, no question about it !
35mm. A great filmmaker who invariably saw his work compromised by Stalin's regime, who carried out most of his work under the surveillance of a repressive enclosing ideology. This film is quite a mark of that: from the fictional part that starts with the Soviet revolution, the speech overlaps the film, but earlier, during the long first part, what a pleasure to shoot, what a surprisingly way of filming!
This film is interesting in more than one respect. Note the colonialist beginning (bringing civilisation to barbarian natives), the imperialist ending and a typical Stalinist love story. Great camera work. The actors' play is somewhat stilted (again, typical for Stalinist cinema) but seems to get more natural towards the end.
Ambitious and didactic, director Donskoy takes artistic liberties with imagery that seem like mere flights of fancy but are in keeping with the lofty ideals of the tale. Sadly (and, as others have observed, absurdly) weighed down by post-WWII Russian propagandist bugling.
Initial concerns with delving into some dated Russia cinema were quickly dispelled when the quality of the cinematography was revealed.It's a beautiful tale of the dedication of at first a young and isolated teacher who volunteers to travel and teach in a Siberian village. Russian politics and history are deftly presented as is the handling of the ageing of the characters over a period of 30 years. Quite delightful.
Another incomprehensible choice from MUBI. The first 40 mins or so are ok but it turns into a terrible creaky old propaganda effort. I suppose that could be interesting in itself, but there's quite a lot else out there to choose from. Couldn't we please just have a few good films occasionally. Surely it's not that hard..