Welcome back, readers. Christian’s Cinematic Syntax is back for the fall semester, and I am excited to share my thoughts on a new batch of films that really caught my attention. Unlike last semester, I will be less strict on what I review, but I will continue selecting based on my world film preference. My “Modern Cinema From Around the World” series was last semester, and now I intend to just publish reviews as their own, without a series attached. Without further ado, I will begin with the 1957 Palme d’Or winning drama, The Cranes Are Flying.
An anti-war film that battled censorship at its release, The Cranes Are Flying focuses on a young couple facing tragedy. Boris (Aleksey Batalov), a factory worker, and Veronika (Tatiana Samoilova), a nurse, are thrust into a harsh reality of life during wartime. Boris volunteers for service, leaving Veronika with a toy squirrel, a birthday gift, and her only memento of him. The couple, now separated, fight their own battles. Veronika resists the romantic advances of Boris’ cousin at home while Boris fights the enemy on the front lines. As the film progresses, these characters change, and tragedy strikes. Veronika and Boris lose the most so the Soviet Union and allied forces can continue on.Continue reading