A conversation with Bruno Fornara about Earth – Zemlja, Земля

Exploring a film.

A conversation with Bruno Fornara about Earth – Zemlja, Земля by Aleksandr Dovženko, URSS 1930

Earth is one of the greatest movie belonging to soviet revolutionary season, between twenties and thirties. After 1917 Revolution, Russia became URSS and cinema had to be revolitionaized, too. Directors as Ėjzenštejn, Dovženko and Vertov find new forms. Cinema looks for never explored roots, through editing, themes and subjects to discover, through references to avant-garde artists movement of that time.

In Ukraine, towards the end of twenties, starts the collectivization of lands. Conflicts arise between old and young people, between rich landowners, the kulaki, and poor farmers. Under an apple tree and old man dies peaceful, children play around him, life continues his circle. The young Vassilij wants to establish a cooperative and introduce mechanical devices. His father is against him. A tractor arrives. Vassilij’s joy extinguishes soon… Collision is not far.

The film was presented for the first time at Venice Film Festival in 1932.

Zemlja, Dovženko’s first movie, arouse lot of controversies: his choice to build and hymn to farmers’ life, nature and human spirit was too evident; his stylistic selections too intense, with moments of intense sensuality and others of violence. Soon, though, the entire world recognized and loved this movie as one of the greatest film ever. Morando Morandini: «It’s a fascinating lyric poem, permeated with a nearly epic pantheism, with great formal harmony. A masterpiece».

Bruno Fornara

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