The Cranes Are Flying

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Kalatozov’s war film , was adapted by Viktor Rozov from his own play and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1958.  It tells the story of Veronica (Tatiana Samoilova) ,who is parted from new lover Boris (Alexei Batalov)  in Moscow when he joins the army to fight the invading Germans in 1941.  Meanwhile Boris’s cousin Mark is in love with her but she continuously rejects him. Veronica eventually marries Mark and enlists as a nurse , secretly hoping that Boris is still alive. It is visual poetry, stunningly photographed with extreme close-ups ,tracking crowd scenes ,and gorgeous long shots in every sequence.

The film depicts the cruelty of world war 2.  The best thing of the film is that it wasn’t overloaded with patriotic sentiments. It is an impressive and heartbreaking romance in times of war. The direction is great and uses elipses along the story , inclusive in the capital scene when Veronika is raped by Mark.  T. Samojlova has an extremely beautiful face and she gives an unforgettable performance here.

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