Capturing the Marvelous: Ukrainian Poetic Cinema

The Horse That Cried

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The Horse That Cried
Dorogoy tsenoi | Mark Donskoi, 1957
USSR | 98 minutes

Also known as At Great Cost, this adaptation of a story by Mikhailo Kotsyubinsky—a Ukrainian writer executed in the Stalinist purges but rehabilitated in 1955—anticipates the wave of Sixties poetic cinema in its focus on star-crossed lovers and its celebration of nature. Set in the 1930s, the film begins as Solomia is forced into an arranged marriage. She escapes with her lover, Ostep, and for a while it looks as if the fugitives will make a clean getaway. Yet eventually they come to the attention of the police, who mistake them for being part of a gang of thieves. One of the major figures of the earlier current of socialist realism, Donskoi, in one of his first post-Stalin era productions, here loosens his style to reveal a delicate romanticism rarely felt in his earlier films.

Series: Capturing the Marvelous: Ukrainian Poetic Cinema

Venue: Howard Gilman Theater

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