Earth is about death and transfiguration. A tale of generations, it begins with the death of a grandfather (Nikolai Nademsky - Zvenigora) in an orchard, surrounded by his family and loved ones. This peaceful death gives way to a tumultuous present for his son Opanas and grandson Vasily (Semyon Svashenko). Kulaks, a class of wealthylandowners, begin appropriating the land of unbounded farmers. Influenced by communism, Vasily leads a youth movement to form collectivized farming in Ukraine, coming in conflict with his rival Khoma (Pyotr Masokha). In its embrace of death as a process of change, Earth endows a spiritual vision on the end of a way of life.
Since its release, Earth has remained Alexander Dovzhenko’s most famous work. Its overwhelming visual beauty and complex editing convey a sensual celebration of life. A vital influence on the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Earth is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made - featured on the list of ten greatest films at the Brussels World Fair and Time Out Magazine’s 100 greatest films of the 20th Century.
A stunning achievement by turns beautiful, poignant and silently subversive Film4
The astonishingly beautiful Earth is unlike anything else in movies Village Voice
Incontestably one of the greatest of all Soviet films Chicago Reader
DVD of the week, 5 stars. Fantastically vital filmmaking - and as fresh as an open sunflower Time Out
Awards: National Board of Review, USA (1930) – Won, Top Foreign Film / Venice Film Festival, (1932) – Nominated, Audience Award
Cast & Crew: Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko / Cinematography by Daniil Demutsky / Stepan Shkurat / Semyon Svashenko / Yuliya Sointseva / Yelena Maksimova / Nikolai Nademsky / Ivan Franko
Technical: 1930 / 78 minutes / Russian with English subtitles / Mono audio (orchestral score) / 1.33:1 Black & White / PG / DVD PAL Multi Region / MRBDVD025