Castro Theatre Thu, May 2, 2019 5:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Aleksandr Dovzhenko
Cast:Stepan Shkurat
Semen Svashenko
Yuliya Solntseva
Elena Maksimova
Total Run Time:79 min.


Musical accompaniment by the Matti Bye Ensemble
The third installment of Dovzhenko’s “Ukraine Trilogy,” Earth is his masterpiece. Peasants and rich landowners come into conflict when a tractor, a gift of the Bolshevik government, disrupts a village’s traditional economic order. Given as an assignment to portray agricultural collectivization in a positive light, the director reached far beyond propaganda to create a bittersweet paean to the fertile Ukrainian countryside and its people who have always worked the land. “So moved am I by Dovzhenko’s film,” wrote British film critic Paul Rotha at the time, “that I find it difficult to express in words the full meaning of the moving images that are at once lovely in themselves, lovely in sequence and lovely as a unified work of art.” Soviet authorities could not abide the film and pulled it from theaters just days after it premiered. Exquisitely shot, humane, and heartfelt, Earth has been chosen time and again as one of the most important silent films ever made.

Print courtesy of Olexandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kiev


Introduction by Anne Nesbet


Special Support by Barbro Osher ProSuecia Foundation and Consulate General of Sweden

Copresented by BAMPFA and San Francisco Cinematheque

Additional Information

Musical accompaniment by the Matti Bye Ensemble

The Matti Bye Ensemble seeks that magical, emotional alchemy between music and images, playing a wide variety of instruments that include piano, glockenspiel, violin, musical saw and percussion. It is led by award-winning film composer Matti Bye, who has been the Swedish Film Institute's resident silent-movie pianist since 1989. In addition to Bye, the ensemble members include Helena Espvall, Kristian Holmgren, Lotta Johanson, and Laura Naukkarinen.