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Alexander Dovzhenko 


TSPDT Rating

Director / Screenwriter / Editor / Producer
1894 - 1956 
Born September 11, Sosnivka, Chernigiv Province, Ukraine
Key Production Country: USSR
Key Genres: Drama, Rural Drama, Propaganda Film
Key Collaborators: Nikolai Nademsky (Leading Character Player), Semyon Svashenko (Leading Player), Stepan Shkurat (Leading Character Player), Danylo Demutsky (Cienmatographer), Pyotr Masokha (Character Player), Stepan Shagaida (Leading Character Player), Vassili Krichevsky (Production Designer), Iosif Shpinel (Production Designer), Yelena Maksimova (Character Player)
Recommended: Arsenal (1929)
Worth a Look: Zvenigora (1928), Earth (1930), Aerograd (1935)
Links: [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Film Reference ] [ Kinema Feature ] [ Russian Culture Navigator Profile ] [ Film Comment Article ] [ Undercurrent Article (2006) ]
Books: [ Alexander Dovzhenko: A Life in Soviet Film ]
DVD's: [ Amazon ]
1,000 Greatest Films: Arsenal (1929), Earth (1930)
Ain't Nobody's Blues But My Own: Zvenigora (1928), Michurin (1948)
Zvenigora (1928)Arsenal (1929)Earth (1930)Aerograd (1935)
  "Ukraine-born Dovzhenko was a poet on celluloid. Once seen, the landscapes and images from his films will be with you for a lifetime. If the propagandist element in his films is occasionally intrusive (he was made head of Kiev studios after pleasing Stalin with Shchors in 1939), the best of his works are pastoral masterpieces whose greatness is undeniable. Dovzhenko captured the backbone of the country, its real life, in a way that directors in few other countries even attempted." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)  
  "The films of Alexander Dovzhenko, who was brought up on a farm in Ukraine, are lyrical panegyrics to the life and history of the area. The first of Alexander Dovzhenko's films on which he had total freedom was Zvenigora (1927), an allegory, which was the last flowering of the exciting avant-garde Russian cinema." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)  
  "Whereas other directors seem aggressively theoretical or populist, Dovzhenko is the first intensely personal artist in the Russian cinema. Although his career was subject to the problems that faced any filmmaker in Soviet Russia, the films themselves are free from them...Dovzhenko's cinema is poetic, lyrical, possessed of a Blake-like somber innocence and a burning passion for existence." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)  
  "The great poet of Soviet cinema. Dovzhenko was able to animate the spirit of the Russian people without shackling it with propaganda." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  

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