I often see films described as poetry, but here is a case where that comparison is most precise. Like poetry, layers of meaning are waiting to be discovered in this film. Each time I watch this film it affects me more and more. My last viewing, perhaps my tenth, was the most profound. I encourage everyone to give this film the time it demands, and deserves, because the rewards are great.
The quality of this dvd, like others have written, is not the best. The version put out by Artificial Eye in the U.K. is reported to be superior, and is probably the better choice if you have a multi-region player. I have given this disc 5/5 stars because the film is so great it overpowers the limitations of the disc, and there isn't a compellingly better version available in Region 1 at the moment.
For those of you who don't speak Russian, I feel very very very bad for you, because of the terrible translation of the movie. Aside from the poems in the movie, that were previously translated by the professionals, the translation sounds as though it was done by fifth-graders. And not just because it is done in the high-school level English. HALF of the speech is not translated at all--a lot of important chatter is completely missing in the subtitles. Many things are oversimplified and revealed, instead of letting the viewer dig them out him/herself. Those of you who don't understand Russian are doomed to be tortured by such translation and never to reveal the true beauty and meaning of the original script. Having read all of the subtitles, I understood a lot of things in a wrong way, different from the way they were intended in the first place, and had zero satisfaction from the movie. Thank [deity] I'm Russian.
The ugly yellow subtitles can NOT be removed--they will stay on the screen forever while I watch the movie and irritate and upset me with the abovementioned crimes against Art.
The supposedly "black and white" scenes, which originally had a silver-ish quality to them, and some were in sepia, are now in plain B&W a la Fellini's La Strada. I used to have a feeling that the bushes were made out of steel and silver, but not on this DVD.
DVD has ZERO extras, and thank [deity] they divided the movie into chapters for easy scene access, but even there they managed to screw up.Read more ›
Billed as an intensely personal tale of growing up in Russia in WWII -- it is this -- but this is not what makes the movie... Read more