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Letyat Zhuravli

Mikhail Kalatozov

The cranes are flying

Winner of the Palme D’Or at the 1957nCannes Film Festival, Mikhail Kalatozov’s film is a mixture, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes bizarre, of magazine story-like storylines, genuine lyricism and full-bodied virtuoso camerawork. Made during the de-Stalinization period of the late ’50s and set during the Second World War, after her fiance (Alexia Battalion) goes to the front, the beautiful Moscovite ( Tatiana Samoilova) is trapped into a loveless marriage with an unpatriotic and decadent pianist played by A. Shovrin. There are some fine sequences and Miss Samoilova, a grandniece of Stanislavsky, does him honour.

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