Russian intertitles WriterMaike "Mike" Johansen, Yurtyk (Yuri Tiutiunnyk) Release dateApril 13, 1928 (1928-04-13) CastSemyon Svashenko, Nikolai Nademsky, Vladimir Uralsky ScreenplayAlexander Dovzhenko, Yuri Tyutyunik, Mikhail Ioganson Similar moviesRelated Alexander Dovzhenko movies
Zvenigora alexander dovzhenko 1928
Zvenigora (Russian: Звeнигopа) is a 1928 Soviet silent film by Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko, first shown on April 13, 1928. This was the fourth film by Dovzhenko, but the first one which was widely reviewed and discussed in the media. This was also the last film by Dovzhenko for which he was not the sole scriptwriter.
The script was originally written by Maike "Mike" Johansen and Yurtyk (Yuri Tiutiunnyk), but eventually Dovzhenko heavily rewrote the script himself and removed Johansen and Tyutyunnyk's names from the screenplay and did not include them in the film credits. Pavlo Nechesa, head of the Odessa film studio VUFKU (Ukrainian: Одеська кінфабрика ВУФКУ) recalls: ″We were discussing the screenplay for Zvenigora … Almost everyone was against the script … Dovzhento said ″I’ll take and make …″. As a project, Zvenigora got its start in June 1927.
Regarded as a silent revolutionary epic, Dovzhenko's initial film in his Ukraine Trilogy (along with Arsenal and Earth) is almost religious in tone, relating a millennium of Ukrainian history through the story of an old man who tells his grandson about a treasure buried in a mountain. The film mixes fiction and reality. Although Dovzhenko referred to Zvenigora as his "party membership card", the relationship between the individual and nature is the main theme of the film, which is highly atypical of the Soviet cinema of the end of the 1920s and its avant-garde influences. Dovzhenko states that full submission to nature made humanity powerless in the face of nature, and understanding and control of nature is required to make progress. For him, the October Revolution brought about such an understanding.
At the time of release, the film was widely reviewed in the press but generally regarded as not conforming with Soviet aesthetics. In 1927, even before the film's release, the newspaper Kino (Cinema) sharply criticized the screenplay, calling it "bourgeois" and "nationalistic".
In the 2012 Sight & Sound Director's Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time, Guy Maddin placed it on his top ten list, describing the film as "mind-bogglingly eccentric!"