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SIBERIAN LADY MACBETH

Yugoslavia, 1962 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Wajda, famed Polish director of the trilogy, A Generation, Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds, was engaged by Avala Films of Belgrade to adapt for the screen the story "Lady Macbeth of Mtensk" by the Russian nineteenth-century writer, Leskov. Wajda tells, with great simplicity and considerable power, of a Lady Macbeth who kills not for ambition but for love. Married to a merchant much older than herself, bored with life in a primitive provincial town, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk proves an easy match for an ambitious young clerk. Exalted by her love, she sweeps away all ob­stacles — her husband, her father-in-law, even a child. Wajda succeeds in establishing both a sense of period and place. The wide screen is filled with magnificently composed pictures; massive timbered rooms, florid ex­teriors, icons, samovars — these, and the raging dust of the steppes, provide the setting in which the heroine ranges, consumed by boredom and frustration. As the story proceeds, Wajda sustains the imagery, climaxing in the splendid extravagant scene in which the damned pair go for a hysterical hay-ride through the fields. The whole concept is of a film produced in the grand Slav, almost operatic, manner and quite unlike anything we have seen from this director before.

See also...

DANTON

Andrzej Wajda's latest film, a French and Polish co-production, is based on a Polish play of the 1930s by Stanislawa Przybyszewska,' 'The Danton Affair'', which attempts to dramatise the emotional ... More »

KATYN

A monument to one of the darkest secrets of the Soviet era. ... For filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, painful events from his own past have been resurrected in Katyn. The film dramatises one of the last major ... More »

MAN OF MARBLE

It is 1976, Agnieszka, a student of the Polish Film Academy, preparing to make her first TV documentary, chooses for its subject the famous bricklaying shockworker of the Fifties, Birkut. He was a ... More »

EVERYTHING FOR SALE

The boy in dark glasses who was hero of Andrzej WajtIa`s film. Ashes and Difttrtottrls, was played by Zbigniew Cybulski. The actor and the part he created became a legend, not unlike that of James ... More »

LAND OF PROMISE

Andrzej Wajda's The Wedding was shown at the Melbourne Festival two years ago, and this new film continues his earlier exploration of the Polish character during the difficult times of the country's ... More »

KANAL

On the first of August 1944 the city of Warsaw rose against the Nazi occupiers. Through long incredible weeks the) continued the struggle until they were defeated and the city was destroyed by the ... More »

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