Outskirts (Okraina)

Once film scholars started to look beyond the montage classics of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, et al, a number of talented filmmakers began to emerge from early Soviet cinema—foremost among them Boris Barnet, a Georgian director whose sensitive comic style that has often been compared to Lubitsch. This 1933 film is usually regarded as his masterpiece; it's set in a small village under the czar, where word of war with Germany comes to provoke the greedy expectations of the merchants, the romantic dreams of the young women, and the revolutionary zeal of the local Bolsheviks. The film was later attacked by the party for its lack of “ideological focus,” but by all other accounts, this is one to see.

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