Classic Russian Film “The Cranes Are Flying” Review

“Cinema is an important vehicle that bridges understanding between people and cultures. It is an ideal medium for appreciating Russia’s unique perspective and world view. It is an important part of Russia’s cultural heritage, being home to the first and oldest cinema school in the world.”

On March 12, 2014, I had the privilege to join a Russian Film Festival conducted by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines in cooperation with its Consulate in Cebu and Sinekultura of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts (CAFA) of the University of San Carlos, Cebu.

The Film Festival is an annual showcasing of award-winning, historical and classical Russian films that commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the WWII Allied victory.

The Russian classical movie that was played on the big screen was the 1958 Palme d’Or winner of the Cannes Film Festival entitled “The Cranes are Flying” starred by Tatyana Samoilova and Aleksey Batalov. It was a story of love, faithfulness, and betrayal during the war.

A little speculation…

None in our generation has experienced the cruelty of war (at least not a world war). Yet, we’ve been educated about it, and somehow ready for it as if there’s another war coming soon – something nobody would want to happen.

The movie, which main plot was centered on the love affair of Veronika and Boris during the war, also depicted family struggles in leaving each others’ side, showing courage despite fear, and accepting loss for patriotism.

War is nothing but a waste of resources, time, energy and lives while making businesses involved in wartime market crazy wealthy after the war. I would say, whatever men’s cause for declaring war, it will never be worthy of bloodshed and destruction.

The next time a man would trigger war between nations, how about sending  his loved ones at the front line in the battle field. Then we would know how much a war is worth to loss a precious life.

Sharing to you a speech given at the Victory parade by a surviving soldier at the latter part of the movie:

“Dear mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers! The happiness of our reunion is immeasurable. The heart of every Soviet citizen is filled with joy. Joy sings in our hearts. It is victory that has brought us this joy. We have all waited for this moment. Everyone’s dizzy with happiness. But we shall not forget those left behind on the battlefield. Time will pass. Towns and villages will be rebuilt. Our wounds will heal. But our fierce hatred of war will never diminish! We share the grief of those who cannot meet their loved ones today, and will do everything to insure that sweethearts are never again parted by war, that mothers need never again fear for their children’s lives, that fathers need never again choke back hidden tears. We have won, and we shall live not to destroy, but to build a new life!”

Felt the emotions poured out in that short note? Yes, me too. So let us all be vigilant, shout at the top of our voices and say, No To War!


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