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Tricia's retro film review: Earth

Earth (1930)


Earth is the 1930 Russian film directed by Alexander Dovzhenko. The film is about a group of Ukrainian farmers who decide to collectivize their farms. Although the Kulaks are opposed to it, they still implement their plan. They buy a tractor and are able to bring it to the farm despite it running out of gas. Vasyl, who helped to start the collective farm, is killed by a mysterious person. They decide to give him a burial without a priest, but will his killer ever be brought to justice?

The movie is well made, but the Communist propaganda will turn off many viewers. Although the characters are likable enough that you root for them to pull the tractor home. The Russian Orthodox priest is a cartoonish caricature in that he prays to God to kill the workers, which is a sin in Christianity because the priest is supposed to bring in the new converts and be loving. The climax is powerful despite the propaganda, because no one cares about the murderer and he is crushed by his own insignificance. Honolulu film fans who can look past the propaganda should rent this film.

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