Monday, December 10, 2007

Сибириада - Sibiriada (Siberiade)

An epic movie co written and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky that will tell you the Russian history since the early 1900’s up to the late 1970’s by means of telling the story of two feuding families the quite wealthy Solomins and the poor Ustyuzhanins that lived in a small village of Yelan situated in the backwoods of Siberia.

But of course the movie tells much more than Russian history as there is a human drama that develops for 70 years and will move you into very strong emotions thanks to actors performances and outstanding cinematography with many, many breathtaking takes of Siberia incredibly looking landscapes and very carefully framed takes.

This is the second time I’m able to see Nikita Mikhalkov (Konchalovsky real life brother) and have to say that I’m totally captivated by his screen presence and performing skills; think that I do enjoy him more as an actor than as a director (remember that he directed and performed in Burnt by the Sun). But all lead and supporting performances are not only very good, but their characters are very well developed.

As a movie it is quite impressive with the use of color for “something good” is going to happen and black & white for “something bad” is going to happen; also uses some stock reel from real life Russian historic moments some quite mesmerizing and yes you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Lenin and Stalin among other prominent Russians. In the end I believe that the movie is full of poetic abstraction and exuding magical realism.

The movie won the Grand Prize of the Jury and was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1979 Cannes.

Seems that the original movie is four and half hours long, I was able to see the shorter version (about 200 minutes) but I’m looking forward to see the full version (about 270 minutes) as when it was over I wanted more and I’m glad there is more.

I highly recommend this epic drama not only as mean to be able to see humanity development from very basic to modern lifestyle, but also to learn a little about Russian history for those not familiar with it. But most of all I suggest you see it for the breathtaking cinematography.


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