A Life for a Life
(Zhizn za zhizn)
(Her Sister’s Rival)
Anne Nesbet is an associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and film and media at UC Berkeley.
Olga Rakhmanova, Liliya Koreneva, Vera Kholodnaya, Vitold Polonskii,
A great yet little-known talent of silent cinema, the theater director and photographer-turned-filmmaker Evgenii Bauer was much in demand for his opulent set designs and subtly lit compositions. Praised as “an artistic treasure” during its release, and starring the incomparable Russian diva Vera Kholodnaya, A Life for a Life follows a wealthy matriarch, her two daughters (one adopted), a merchant, and a dashing yet irresponsible prince as they juggle fate, family, love, and funding. Emblematic of the “salon psychology” dramas of the era, it still captures the eye, thanks to Bauer’s flair for lighting and design.