The photography in "Dear Comrades" reminds very closely Konchalovsky's 2016 film, Ray (Paradise): 4:3 aspect ratio, black and white, digital camera usage.
Yet, the two films are strongly different, although they somehow feel intrinsically connected.
"Dear Comrades" describes a workers strike occured in 1962 in Novocherkassk that was controversially smothered in blood, as seen from the point of view of a local party member (Yuliya Vyotskaya, who also the leading role in "Paradise").
It was impossible for me not to compare this film with Eisenstein's 1925 masterpiece "The Strike", which also features a revolution of the workers but against a zarist government. It is interesting to see how the tables have turned, and that same soviet government that threw over the zarist government acts exactly the same way. The film had also a bit of an "Ida" vibe, again minus the spiritual elements, and the ending sequence felt much like a classic hollywood drama's finale, intentionally so, which I found somewhat fitting to the slightly satyrical nature of the title.
Let me be clear: this film is far from a satyre, it depicts with an almost Bressonian simplicity the dynamics of power and secrecy that were central to the functioning of the Soviet Union.
Unlike the 2016 film, Dear Comrades has no spiritual dimension, it is strongly linked to the presentation of facts, as it should be, given the strong materialist/soviet tone of its story. Similarly to Paradise, though, it shows the brainwashing effects of the Stalinist era: the lead character has, until the end, a nostalgic attitude towards Stalin, whom she defends even when confronted with the gruesome crimes committed in his name.
I hope that Dear Comrades gets distributed widely. Konchalovsky has been directing very outstanding films the whole decade, and this is yet another one of them.
Drama / History
Drama / History
Novocherkassk, USSR, 1962. Lyudmila is a Party executive and devout communist who had fought in WWII for Stalin's ideology. Certain that her work will create a communist society, the woman detests any anti-Soviet sentiment. During a strike at the local electromotive factory, Lyudmila witnesses a laborers' piquet gunned down under orders from the government that seeks to cover up mass labor strikes in USSR. After the bloodbath, when survivors flee from the square, Lyudmila realizes her daughter has disappeared. A gaping rift opens in her worldview. Despite the blockade of the city, mass arrests, and the authorities' attempts to cover up the massacre, Lyudmila searches for her daughter. We don't know how the search will end, but realize that the woman's life won't ever be the same.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 06, 2021 at 11:11 PM