Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The File of Anna Akhmatova|
Actor: Boris Pasternak; Vladimir Mayakovsky; Mikhail Sostchenko
Director: Semyon Aranovich
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Russian poet Anna Akhmatova became the conscience of a generation under the brutal repression of Josef Stalin. In examining the life and art of this courageous woman, THE ANNA AKHMATOVA FILE offers a portrait of a beloved ... more »
Interesting, arty, obscure
Luminoso | Austin, TX USA | 01/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a tribute to the woman who is often considered the voice of the people and their suffering during the Stalinist era, this film seems to lack emotional depth. Although at times very arty and symbolic, the film often focuses on making fun of the various Soviet leaders with contrived loops of newsreel footage rather than on striking to the heart of Anna Akhmatova's amazing poetry, its societal impact, and the personal and professional struggles she faced throughout her lifetime. The sound effects, especially early on, are just awful.
The film also assumes a good bit of prior knowledge about Akhmatova and the Stalinist era, including, who was who in Soviet politics. There's plenty of interesting archival footage but a few more identifies on screen would have been helpful. The product blurb about interviews is a bit misleading. There are no actual "interviews" just voiceover quotes, often unidentified. There's a long, intriguing list of "commentators" in the credits whose names never show up on screen. Many faces focused on during AA's funeral and burial are never identified. Consequently this film could make for a very confusing first dip into this almost unbelievable period in modern history when a handful of people, the "legendarnaia ordynka," sturggled to keep Russian's intellectual, artistic and literary soul alive. But if this film prompts only one person to pursue that thread, then so much the better.
The one real joy is hearing Akhmatova's poetry read in Russian... and I want so much to believe... that it is actually HER voice I hear."
Honest Mind | Philadelphia, PA | 12/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film captures the spirit and resonance of Russia's greatest poet of the 20th century, whose haunting, long poem "Requiem," written during Stalin's mass purges, caught the nightmare and human experience of Soviet terror, and who became an underground idol to Russian youth looking for a voice of honesty, compassion, and moral reality. The film contains extremely rare footage not only of the purge trials and the lives of brilliant authors under Soviet terror, but of prisoners, the gulag, and the Soviet leadership at play and at self-worship. This is a film for the ages."