A Cinematic Centennial Celebration of the Russian Revolution Presents
Los Angeles, Aug. 19, 2017 – The Los Angeles Workers Center and Hollywood Progressive co-present the Ukrainian revolutionary classic Earth (Zemlya).
Aleksandr Dovzhenko's revolutionary masterpiece Earth is about class struggle in a rural Ukrainian village, pitting poor peasants against "kulaks" (rich landowners). Class conflict erupts after the Bolsheviks make a tractor available to the underdeveloped farmers as a harbinger of the socialist future.
Under Dovzhenko's lyrical direction, Danylo Demutsky's stunning cinematography captures on celluloid indelible images and scenes. The poetic pictures pairing peasants with sunflowers are simply unforgettable, expressing the oneness of the farmer with the land which the Revolution is giving those who till ownership of. Earth's sequence where the tractor needs water and how the menfolk solve the problem is amusing and – well – earthy.
In Jay Leyda's seminal movie history book Kino Sergei Eisenstein's American film student wrote, "Earth was one of the few acknowledged classics of the Soviet and world cinema." In his Dovzhenko obituary Eisenstein's Hollywood collaborator Ivor Montagu wrote: "No artist in any medium has torn more rawly at the heart-strings" and that Earth had a "truly dialectic perception of the oneness and continuity of the universe..."
Indeed, Earth is sheer cinematic poetry in motion, one of the most beautiful black and white and silent films ever shot. It is also the only feature in the TEN FILMS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD series made in the 1930s, marking the end of the period of avant-garde Soviet cinema.
What: Earth screening; length: 75 minutes.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 2017.
Where: The L.A. Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Place, L.A., CA 90019.
This screening of Earth is the seventh in a monthly film series running through November 2017 to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia, and 1905's mass uprisings. All 10 films screened during these 10 months are Soviet cinema classics, among the greatest political films ever made. See the entire schedule here.
Before each screening at the L.A. Workers Center a speaker briefly introduces each film and filmmaker. After the movie the speaker will make additional remarks, followed by a Q&A. Light refreshments are served. These black and white, silent films, with English subtitles, and musical soundtracks, are screened under imperfect conditions, although this is a chance to see them projected on a big screen. Admission is free, although donations and potluck contributions are accepted. Screenings start at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month. Film historian/critic Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, A People's Film History of the United States, is the series' programmer/co-presenter. For info: firstname.lastname@example.org.