Happiness

  • November 11, 2017 / 18:00
  • November 22, 2017 / 17:00

Yönetmen: Aleksandr Medvedkin
Cast: Pyotr Zinovyev, Yelena Yegorova, Nikolay Cherkasov
Soviet Union, 1935, 95', b&w, Silent
 

Anarchic in its humor, caustic in its view of peasant life, Happiness defies easy categorization or definition. The painted backdrops inspired by Russian wood prints evoke the atmosphere of a Russian folk tale and give the action a curious theatricality. Medvedkin’s surreal silent comedy tells the story of a peasant named Khmyr and his wife Anna as they try to discover the meaning of happiness. The narrative unfolds over an unrealistic amount of time, taking the couple from pre-Revolutionary days to the time of Stalin and collectivization. Throughout the film, the happiness of the couple is thwarted by a series of absurd and surreal events, including a horse unwilling to do its work, neighbours who steal their entire granary, and Tsarist officers who arrest a suicidal Khmyr, asking him “if the peasant dies, who will feed Russia?” One of the most famous scenes features the arrival of members of the Orthodox Church, including nuns in see-through outfits and a clearly corrupt priest who has arrived to collect taxes from Khmyr and his wife.

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Trailer

Happiness

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