For centuries invaders have coveted the treasures of Ukraine. And for centuries they have been guarded by Grandfather (Nikolai Nademsky - Earth). This mysterious treasure remains hidden at Mount Zvenigora eluding the often violent search conducted by Poles, Cossacks and Germans in the course of centuries. In the turbulent years of the twentieth century, the treasure is sought by his descendants in the hope of recovering a past in danger of being lost. A “cinematographic poem”, Zvenigora moves from past to present, combining reality with fantasy. It conveys the spirit of Ukrainian history, its transition from a rural, agricultural society to the modern world of industrialization and its discontents.
Regarded as a silent revolutionary epic, Dovzhenko's initial film in his "Ukraine Trilogy" (along with Arsenal and Earth) is almost religious in its tone and is one of the most remarkable avante-garde films of an exuberantly experimental period.
Zvenigora was immediately recognized as a masterpiece by Sergei Eisenstein and V. I. Pudovkin. The most sensual and poetic of Soviet masters, Alexander Dovzhenko’sunconventional vision and experimental style remained rooted in his love for his native Ukraine; its culture and its people. Zvenigora, his first major film, is also his most joyous work.
"This is intellectually Marxist, and yet montage is an incredibly exciting form of filmmaking. Now used by advertisers and Hollywood blockbusters, in the hands of Soviet filmmakers it was a revolutionary cinematic experience" -- Socialist Review
"As the lights went on, we felt that we had just witnessed a memorable event in the development of cinema" -- Sergei Eisenstein
Cast & Credits:
Georgi Astafyev / Nikolai Nademsky / Vladimir Uralsky / Les Podorozhnij / Semyon Svashenko
Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko
1929 / 91 minutes / Silent Russian with English subtitles / Mono audio (orchestral score) / 1.33 : 1 Black & White / DVD PAL Multi Region / MRBDVD035