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BEZHIN MEADOW Sequences
from an Unfinished Film
Sergei Eisenstein's film "Que Viva Mexico"
was taken from him before he could comlete it.
in 1932 he returned frustrated to
the Soviet Union
Three years past before he begin
his first sound film "Bezhin Meadow".
It was inspired by a story of Turgenief,
and was to be about to young pioneers
and their contribution to
Soviet collective farming.
Eisentein worked nearly two years
to make this film.
As it progressed became more and more poetic, it's
stile became more complex, its experiments more daring.
Eisentein broke from the original concept of
collectivization to make a sembolic struggle
between a boy of the new Russia
and his evil father of the old.
Production was halted and Eisenstein was attacted
for producing a film of harmful formalistic exercises.
"Bezhin Meadov" was banned in
March of 1937.
Later the only coppies of the film was distroyed when a
bomb hit the Mosfilm Studios during the second world war.
This is an attempt to reproduce Eisenstein's
lost film on the base of old sketches,
clippings, and single frames of the negative
which Eisentein had saved from his placing bench.
Stepok is escorting the body of his
mother; whom his father has beat to death.
"Why did your father always
beat her so much?"
"Because she understood me. "
Stepok's father is drinking
with his friends.
"My own son has betrayed me,
his father... "
"We thought you were asleep,
but you were listening to us... "
"and then went and reported
all we said. "
"When the Lord God created the
heaven, the waters and the earth... "
"and people like me and you,
son, he said:"
"If a son betrays his father... "
"kill him!"
"You wanted to burn the grain,
to ruin the kolkhoz?"
"I didn't set fire to it...
I'm a poor man. "
"And what am I, of the royal
family?"
The kolkhoz chairman comes for
Stepok's baby sister.
"But it's my child. "
"We'll ask her about that. "
"Farewell, son. Maybe we'll
yet meet again. "
The kulaks set fire to the shed
where gasoline is kept.
"There are pigeons there!"
The incendairies have taken refuge in the
church, while the collective farmers surround it.
"What have God-fearing people
come to, Oh, Lord!"
No God-fearing people left.
The incendiaries, under convoy,
reach the highway.
"They're the Last! They ought to
be shown in a museum. "
"They would like to bring the
tsar back. "
"They say tha tsar has been
brought back. "
It is decided to turn the church where
the incendiaries hid into a clubhouse.
"Let me have this little icon
as a momento... "
"I can't. "
"Refuse me even a piece
of junk... "
By nights the boys herd the
horses...
and guard the collective
farm grain.
The incendiaries have killed their guards
and escaped. Stepok's father has also escaped.
"When the Lord God created the
heaven, the waters and the earth... "
"and people like me and you,
son, he said:"
"If a son betrays his father... "
"kill him!"
"Father... "
The boys have brought a doctor
to Stepok, who is dying.The Russian Film Archives
present
Bezhin Meadow
Sergei Eisenstein
History of an unfinished
film (1935-1937)
Professor Rostislav Yourenev
tells the fate ofthis film,
You're going to live
an unique experience...
the resurrection of a lost film
that will be restored
from the notes,
the old pictures,
pieces of film
like these ones...
where there are only
2 or 3 frames of the film :
Bezhin Meadow
by Sergei Eisenstein
This restoration is the work
of an old friend of Eisenstein,
director Sergei Youtkevitch
and the young film historian
Naoum Kleiman.
The story of Bezhin Meadow
is a real tragedy.
During the early thirties,
when Eisenstein came back
from America,
leaving to the
Hollywoodian toilers
the complete footage of
Que Viva Mexico,
back home in USSR,
his dream was to direct
a great and meaningful film.
Finding a script
or a story
was fruitless for a while.

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