The Prequel to the Ukrainian Genocide: Alexander Dozhenko's Earth('Zemyla') will screen at Heritage House on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Review for the film:
The film tells the story of the Ukrainian farmers, the Kulaks, who live amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Russian steppes during the early 1930s. Their idyllic way of life is threatened as they are gradually pressured to abandon their long-held family farms in the coming wave of Stalinist land seizure and collectivization, a movement they ardently resist.
The film, though hailed by critics and the general public, was highly criticized by the Soviet political establishment for its anti-establishment tone. Dovzhenko was subsequently forced to flee the country to explore the coming sound era of film abroad.
The film's sad historical epitaph would be The Holodomor (translated literally as "to kill by starvation"), aka: "the Terror-Famine" or "Famine-Genocide" -- the man-made Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people.
The film was voted one of the 12 greatest films of all time by a group of 117 film historians at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair as well as being named one of the top 10 greatest films of all time by the International Film Critics Symposium.
Earth is often cited alongside another recent Heritage House offering, Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin (1925), as one of the most important films of the classic Soviet era and an essential entry in early Russian film.
More recently, Earth was ranked #88 in the 1995 Centenary Poll of the 100 Best Films of the Century in Time Out Magazine. The work also received the endorsement of 10 prestigious critics in the 2012 Sight & Sound polls of the world's greatest films conducted by the British Film Institute.
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