• The Rainbow

    1941. USSR. Mark Donskoy. 89 min.

  • Atomic Power (March of Time, Volume XII, Number 13)

    1946. USA. Unknown. 18 min.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • The Rainbow

    1941. USSR. Directed by Mark Donskoy. With Nina Alisova, Natalya Uzhviy, Vera Ivashova. In this starkly realistic depiction of the Nazi occupation of a Ukrainian village, made under wartime conditions, a pregnant partisan woman is tortured, and some of the villagers collaborate with the German occupiers. The film opened in America six months before the Russians took Berlin, and it made audiences sympathetic to the plight of our allies. Donskoy, a veteran of the Red Army in the Russian Revolution and a former Ukrainian prosecutor turned film director, was most famous for his trilogy on the life of Maxim Gorky. In Russian; no English subtitles. Synopsis available. 89 min.

  • Atomic Power (March of Time, Volume XII, Number 13)

    1946. USA. Director unknown. 18 min.

It is winter in a Ukrainian village occupied by the Nazis. The corpse of a boy from the village lies unburied in the snow. A girl from the village is the mistress of the Nazi commander. A pregnant woman who's husband is with the partisans is brought before the Nazis. They torture her for information. A child from the village who tries to help her is shot. His family secretly takes his body and buries it. Meanwhile, one of the villagers is an informer and gives continuous information to the Germans. The people of the village, who all wear large identification cards, are brought before the Germans who demand to know where the body of the boy is. Since the villagers will not cooperate, the Nazis take hostages. Some German soldiers enter the house of the boy who has been shot and frighten the other children. Now the pregnant woman gives birth to a boy, and the Nazis threaten her again if she won’t inform. She refuses and, enraged by her obstinacy, they kill her newborn son, and then kill her as she holds the child in her arms. One of the village partisans returns home and kills the village informer. When Russian prisoners pass by the village, the villagers try to give them food, but the Germans shoot at them. The mistress of the commander tries to bribe her loyal sister for information about the partisans, but the sister refuses. Some partisans sneak into the village. Planes fly over the village and drop leaflets. There is an explosion, and the partisans ride openly into the village. The Germans shoot at them, but they are overcome. The partisans liberate the hostages. One of the partisans is the husband of the woman who is the mistress of the German commander. When he finds out how she has betrayed her people, he shoots his wife. Now that the partisans control the village, the women, who have suffered much at the hands of the invaders, are like the Furies. They would kill their torturers. At the height of their fury, a rainbow appears in the sky. We do not see if the Germans are killed. One of the villagers says, “Let them live with their consciences.”

In the Film exhibition Best Years: Going to the Movies, 1945–46

Ticketing policies for film screenings

Sign up for now to receive MoMA's biweekly Film E-News