1088. EARTH (1930-USSR). Written and directed by ALEXANDER DOVZHENKO. The final master work of the RusÂsian silent film era was conceived when the Soviet Communist League asked Ukrainian director Duvzhenko to make a propaganda motion picture. He was to dramatize the need for landowners to give up their properties in order to create collective farms. Dovzhenko based his film on a newspaper article about a young Collective farm leader who was murdered by a reactionary landowner. Surely such a concept would suit the Party’s needs to a tee. What resulted was a passionate love poem, which today is considered one of the ten best films in world cinema by many promiÂnent moviemakers, critics and historians. Earth is a filmic hymn lo the fruitfulness of the land, the natural rebirth of humankind, a glorification of romantic love and family devotion. Dovzlienkn’s studied close-ups stress his love of homeland … the wonderful faces of the farmers, their animals, wheat fields against panoramas of puffy clouds and sunshine, orchards of ripe apples glistening with rainwater. The Soviet critics of 1930 were furious with Dovzhenko and condemned Earth as ‘high brow.” We can only imagine that the few landowners who saw the film were more eager than ever to hold onto their beloved farms. Thankfully. Earth survived the political blows of its initial release, and film lovers for generations have been grateful to Dovzhenko for creating a visionary work of an, a filmic microcosm of life in all its splendor! Silent film with synchronized orchestral score, titles in English. Recommended. 88 minutes. Drama