The File of Anna Akhmatova (1989)

You’d better come to the Soviet film The File of Anna Akhmatova with some basic knowledge about this Russian poet. If you know the outline of her life, then you’ll probably enjoy this dream-like surreal approach, but if you’re hoping to discover the A-Z of her life, then look elsewhere.

The DVD includes clips of her poetry, diary entries and various reminiscences from those who knew and loved Akhmatova. The footage is spectacular, so there’s a lot here for Russophiles: images of a church being blown up, statues toppling, Akhmatova’s funeral, and photos from labour camps. The impressionistic approach to Akhmatova’s life is, at times, quite beautiful, and one of the best moments of the film overlays images of animal pelts with one of Stalin’s speeches. Directed by Semyon Aranovich, the film is in Russian with subtitles.

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Filed under Documentary, Soviet

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