Lyubov I Nenavist (1935)

Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - USSR  |  
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Oppressed women stand together against their enemies in this historical drama from the Soviet Union. In 1919, a group of Ukrainian women are left to fend for themselves when their husbands go away to fight the White Russian forces. Enemy factions soon seize the village, and the women are put to work in a mine performing back-breaking labor. When the occupation troops are forced to flee the village, they hastily decide to destroy the mine, but the women band together to stop them. With the exception of leading lady Emma Tsesarskaya, the women in the film are actual Ukrainian peasants who had not acted professionally before. Lyubov I Nenavist received only a limited release in 1935, as Soviet authorities felt the characters were not heroic enough, but it was well-received in its screening at a retrospective of Soviet films presented at the 2000 Locarno Film Festival.