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ZVENIGORA (1928) * with switchable English subtitles *

Georgi Astafyev, Nikolai Nademsky and Vladimir Uralsky, Aleksandr Dovzhenko
$13.99

Alexander Dovzhenko’s mythopoetic rhapsody, from 1928, follows an ageless grandfather in his centuries-long quest to unearth buried treasure, symbolizing Ukrainian identity, which lies hidden in the “ringing mountain” of the title. Dovzhenko’s vast, fantastic view of history—running from the Cossacks’ primeval clashes with Poles hiding in trees through the redemptive industrialization of the Bolshevik regime—may suggest the Soviet-style lockstep of progress, but his visionary hysteria hints at immutable depths of the soul. Dovzhenko depicts such ardent figures as a crazed monk who looms over the embattled forests, maidens at their riverside rite, and two grandsons with divergent paths (the ineffectual nationalist and the rationalist revolutionary) with a spontaneous sympathy for their diverse forms of zealotry. His wide array of attention-grabbing devices, including double exposures, watery reflections, subliminally rapid-fire editing, and stark, high-contrast graphics, conjure a world of fantasy and ecstasy unfathomed by the stiffly arrayed ranks of revolutionaries who make their dutiful appearance. A magical finale of whizbang theatrics and modernist irony is far more ambivalent than the overseers imagined. 
 

DVD-R is in Russian with switchable English subtitles. Approx. 90 mins. See film sample for audio and visual quality!

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