For centuries invaders have coveted the treasures of Ukraine. And for centuries they have been guarded by Grandfather (Nikolai Nademsky). This mysterious treasure remains hidden at Mount Zvenigora, eluding the often violent search.
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I wish I could have been on set for this one because Dovzhenko was creating something new. A different language. He didn't have the cinematic language like we do now, he was making it up as he went. The result was a memorizing and playful mediation on the lost of myth within industrialism. Weirdly graceful? Yeah, something along those lines. Its a different creature than any of us are used to.
This film doesn't get discussed much in regards to Dovzhenko's body or work. What a surprise, then, to discover that it is his masterpiece. Lysergic, otherworldly, and proto-surrealist, it reminds me more of Medvedkin than Dovzhenko. I can't begin to impart what an extraordinarily pleasant surprise this was.
I remember reading about this director in my film history textbook. I've always wanted to check his film Earth out but never actually did so. After seeing this I'm exciting to see his "better works" since this had some stunning visuals. Story-wise well it's Sovjet Russia what are you gonna do.
Apart from it's artistic value, this is a highly revealing film regarding the current Ukraine conflict. It shows the predictive (or justifying?) nature of a nation's myths on its current affairs: in this case shedding light on Ukraine's ordeals during the IWW, Bolshevik & Industrial Revolutions; but also predicting what is now the Poroshenko-led media spectacle, similar to "Ukraine's Prince's" lecture in the film.