SHINE BRIGHTLY, MY STAR (1970) [Feature]

USSR (MIFF 1977 )
Director: Alexander Mitta

Alexander Mitta, who was a cartoonist before he began making films, is known for his fantasy features that are equally suited for children or adults. Shine Brightly, My Star is set in the Civil War following the Russian Revolution of 1917.

An itinerant actor, who quaintly takes the name, Iskremas (meaning Revolutionary Art to the Masses), invites people off the street to watch his primitive dramas. He travels through the countryside with his small troupe of vagabond players, living out his dreams and fantasies in his stage pieces, while the war rages on all sides.

One of his friends, equally interested in the possibilities of bringing art to the masses, screens one-reelers in a movie tent; another friend paints sets in the spirit of the revolution before he is seized by the Whites. Scenes of cruelty and carnage are recorded in a matter-of-fact style as Iskremas continues his productions. Meeting an orphan girl, he trains her to act with fiery intensity in his dramas. He dreams of performing heroic deeds, and gets his chance when he attempts to save his audience from an ambush by the Whites. Later, his dreams of sacrifice and glory are put to the test when he and the orphan girl meet with a thug on the road . . .

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