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TRAKTORISTY (1939) * with switchable English subtitles *

Ivan Pyryev Writer: Evgeniy Pomeshchikov (screenplay) (as Ye.M. Pomeshchikov) Stars: Marina Ladynina, Nikolay Kryuchkov, Boris Andreyev
$13.99

A demobilized Red Army man, returning to western Ukraine after fighting the Japanese in Mongolia, is looking for a kolkhoz to settle down on and work the fields as a mechanic.  He gets more than he bargains for when he arrives at just such a place and falls immediately for one of the women laborers.  Unbeknownst to him, however, she has enlisted the help of a stocky oaf to play the part of her fiancee to scare off the multitudes of love-sick Soviets wanting to bed her down.  The deception works well; too well, as she, too, falls for the Red Army man, but can't seem to snare him thanks to his belief that she's tied to the loudmouthed braggart.  Eventually, time and good Soviet labor overcomes all obstacles and they marry - an ideal, communist marriage between two equal members of the proletariat.

Billed as a "comedy", Traktoristy is more a reflection of the ideals of society in Stalinist Ukraine.  The film was shortly made after the Soviet trouncing of the Japanese at Khalkin Gol.  There's not only a number of references to this victory in the movie; there are also outright statements about how the Germans are once again salivating over the thought of conquering Soviet lands and destroying the Workers' Paradise.  The men and women of the collective farm are admonished in song to be as equal on the battlefield as they are on the fields of the kolkhoz, and they sing, that "when the time of trial comes, Comrade Stalin will order us into battle."  Within months of this film being made, the Soviets and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression pact.  Thereafter, Traktoristy was quickly pulled out of circulation and the Polish-ruled western Ukraine was annexed to the Soviet Union as part of the pact between Molotov and Ribbentrop.  

DVD-R is in Russian with switchable English subtitles.  Approx. 82 mins.  See film sample for audio and video quality!

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