Russian cinema didn’t start with the Soviets and this little melodrama from forgotten pioneer Vasily Goncharov is a hidden gem. It’s the story of a young peasant and the perils she encounters in the city; a familiar silent era tale but with a distinct Russian flavor.
Of course, the other attraction is seeing a very young Ivan Mosjoukine playing the heroine’s country lover. Goncharov’s camera work is staid but the performances are excellent and the whole thing is a surprisingly affecting drama.
Silent Movie Pro Tip: If your book on Russian film starts with Eisenstein, get a different book.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Alas, the ending is lost but it looks as though Mosjoukine is being driven mad by regret after being forced to marry somebody OTHER than his love.
If it were a dessert it would be: Grasshopper Pie. Not trendy by any means but deserves to make a comeback.
Availability: Released on DVD as part of Milestone’s Early Russian Cinema series. The entire collection is well worth obtaining.
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