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Zvenigora (1928)

An old Ukrainian man protects and searches for a legendary treasure in the midst of political upheavals.

Writers:

Aleksandr Dovzhenko (supervising writer), Mikhail Ioganson | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Georgi Astafyev Georgi Astafyev ... Scythian leader (as G. Astafyev)
Nikolai Nademsky ... Grandpa / General
Vladimir Uralskiy ... Peasant
Aleksandr Podorozhnyy Aleksandr Podorozhnyy ... Pavlo - second grandson (as Les Podorozhnij)
Semyon Svashenko ... Timoshka - first grandson
I. Selyuk I. Selyuk ... Ataman
L. Barné L. Barné ... Monk
L. Parshina L. Parshina ... Timoshka's wife
P. Sklyar Otawa P. Sklyar Otawa ... Okasana - Mountain Princess
A. Simonov A. Simonov ... Cossack Officer
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Storyline

An old Ukrainian man protects and searches for a legendary treasure in the midst of political upheavals.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

None | Russian

Release Date:

8 May 1928 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Звенигора See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1973 restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 2012 Sight & Sound Directors Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time, Guy Maddin put Zvenigora on his top ten list along with such films as Malick's The Tree of Life, Buñuel's L'Age d'Or, and Vigo's Zero de Conduite. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1973, "Zvenigora" was restored and further distributed by the Mosfilm, with addition of the musical part composed and conducted by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov. This version has a running time of 92 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

Eyes turned into caves
4 September 2011 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

With Eisenstein - scientist of film, scholar - it was about synthesized image that opened eyes with conflict of the individual parts. It was a studied thing, architectural. This, on the other hand, is what they were fond of calling back then a 'cinematic poem'. So, yes, the stanza is evocative of soul, the rhythm seductive with earthly lyricism; you can see how all this is later revitalized again into poetry with Tarkovsky.

Yet even though the heart is old world, dwelled by spiritual yearnings about the past and rural pageantry - the protagonist is an old man who escorts us through legend or memory - the eye is unerringly modern; it sees in ways that, now with hindsight, we can recognize as distinctly cinematic and only possible with the camera.

So an old battle is diffused with dreamlike ambiance, reconstructed mechanically by actors moving like tinker-toys, but modern life is dazzling where shown; dynamic, disorienting. There are some amazing shots of electric city night humming with motion that I will keep with me. It is ultimately about these two worlds briefly coexisting in the same frame, one rushing against the other, clashing or making way for the locomotion forwards.

Oh, there is the brief forray into civil war, and the brave, statuesque Red officer who must order his own firing squad. But elsewhere the Reds are shown to flee a village in defeat. The politics are ambivalent, mere footnote in the larger flow and pull.


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