Krestyane (1934)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama, Rural Drama  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

A heady combination of propaganda and realism, Peasants tells the tale of a small Russian farming community. Rather set in their ways, the peasant farmers have difficulty adjusting to the "advances" of Soviet communism. Most are willing to go with the flow, but one of the farmers, Gerasim (A. Petrov), resents any incursion upon his right to individual thought. This automatically makes him the villain of the piece, and he acts accordingly, doing everything he can to sabotage the agricultural efforts of his neighbors. He even goes so far as to murder his own wife (Yelena Yunger) when she rebels against him and voluntarily embraces communism. The community is saved by a heroic government representative who talks another farmer into killing the rebellious Gerasim. Peasants was director Frederick Ermler's first film since 1932's Counterplan -- and so far as his adherents were concerned, it was worth the wait.