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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...

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 »

SWEET RUSH

“A small gemstone that glistens in the memory long after the lights come up.” - Hollywood Reporter ... The story of a middle-aged woman finding sexual reawakening with a young man after losing ... 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 »

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 »

INNOCENT SORCERERS

From his fine trilogy on the subject of war and its aftermath, Andrzej Wajda turns to the gentler subject of young intellectuals in Warsaw. The innocent sorcerers of the film's title are a young ... More »

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