The triumvirate of great silent Soviet narrative directors is completed by Alexander Dovzhenko (1894–1956). Unlike the other two, Sergei Eisenstein and V. I. Pudovkin, Dovzhenko was Ukrainian and worked mostly in Odessa and Kiev, which allowed him a bit more freedom as he wasn’t constantly under Stalin’s nose in Moscow. Like his esteemed contemporaries, he left behind extensive writings on the cinema. His concern for peasants, a group to which his illiterate father belonged, led him away from urban settings and promoted a lyrical and poetic depiction of Nature. His great rural trilogy (Arsenal in 1929, Zemlya [Earth] in 1930, and Ivan in 1932) seems to move beyond the immediate political concerns of the Revolution into a personal and emotional realm; feeling triumphs over agitprop. Read more
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