Section: Close Up WWII

Letyat zhuravli

The Cranes Are Flying

Michail Kalatosow
Soviet Union, 1957, 97 Min

Eighteen-year-old Veronika loves engineer Boris, who volunteers to fight when the Great Patriotic War breaks out. Later she marries another; and subsequently comes to see the betrayal of her loved one as an existential error. A return of the individual fate to war films, awarded the Palme d'Or in Cannes in 1958.

Filmtalk: Barbara Wurm über DIE KRANICHE ZIEHEN | German Q&A | FFC 2020

THE CRANES ARE FLYING was a sensation in 1957. In the heroic war film genre an individual fate suddenly shone through, as the tragedy of the individual took precedence over the representation of a general sensation of struggle and victory. Mikhail Kalatosov's work became the key film of the political “thaw”, a signal of respect for the experiences of every single individual with their moments of happiness and existential lows.

The main character is eighteen-year-old Veronika, who loves the engineer Boris. When the war breaks out and Boris volunteers for the front, Veronika gives herself over to his cousin Mark. Soon however she comes to perceive her marriage to this self-centred man as treason ... Actress Tatiana Samoilova and cameraman Sergey Urusevsky both played a major role in the success of the film, with the latter capturing the fable from the perspective of the main character with fluidly-captured scenes and a striking use of light and shadow. RS

Victor Rozov
Sergey Urusevskiy
Igor Mayorov
Maria Timofeeva
Evgeniy Svidetelev
Moisey Vaynberg
Tatiana Samoilova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkuryev, Aleksandr Shvorin
Karen Shakhnazarov
Mosfilm Cinema Concern Mosfilmovskaya 1 119991 Moscow +74991439700
Elena Orel
Michail Kalatosow

Michail Kalatosow -

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