(Air City)


Stepan Shagaida, Sergei Stolyarov, Stepan Shkurat,

“The old world is shrinking. The ocean is shrinking.” The Soviets are arriving on foot and by plane to build a shining new city, the mythical Aerograd, on the Far Eastern front. Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s first sound film was made with Stalin’s blessing, and this is evident in the story, which pits rural partisans against Old Believers in the struggle to Sovietize Siberia. Between them is “a foreign beast prowling our woods”—the Japanese, depicted in a manner reflecting Soviet anxieties about Japanese aggression. Special effects by Oleksandr Ptushko and cinematography by Eduard Tissé raise this political tract to a poetic level in startling aerial shots, lyrical images of the taiga, and wonderful cinematic conceits such as high-speed traveling shots through the forest, characters who appear to address the camera or turn away, or the silent shout of a woodsman about to be shot by his friend for treason.

—Judy Bloch  

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  • Oleksandr Dovzhenko
  • Eduard Tissé
  • Mikhail Gindin
  • Nikolai Smirnov
  • Russian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 81 mins
Additional Info
  • Oleksandr Dovzhenko was assisted by Yuliya Solntseva and Stepan Kevorkov