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THE BIGGER PICTURE: THE CRANES ARE FLYING

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov

97 minutes, Soviet Union, 1957, Subtitled, Black and White, 35mm


This film screened on Monday 21st September 2015. 

Dr. Douglas Smith, Senior Lecturer at the UCD School of Languages and Literature, introduces the only Soviet film to have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, a study of the effect of the appalling losses suffered during the Second World War on the Soviet psyche.

Veronika (Tatiana Samoilova) is betrothed to Boris, who enlists,leaving her devastated. In his absence, she is pursued by Mark, who she is eventually forced to marry, though her heart is never truly his.

Revolutionary in its depiction of women, The Cranes are Flying was one of the first films to exploit the freedoms of the post-Stalinist era. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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