Shiroka Strana Moya Rodnaya (1959)

Genres - Travel  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka

Three different components make up this flawed documentary on the people and landscapes of the former Soviet Union: the content, which is either neutral or filled with propaganda; the photography which is uniformly good; and the technique (Kinopanorama) which is poor. The sum total is not exactly entertaining. Scenes showing cityscapes, the landscape of Siberia, riverways, dams, steel mills, and other facets of Soviet industrial and urban life are well-shot and exciting at various intervals. On the other hand, the narrative idealizes communism, and views of highly regimented gatherings showing patriotic fervor are going to alienate most audiences. Finally, this Kinopanorama production needs a triple-projector format with a consequently divided wide screen, and that technique is imperfect. The three vertical panels on the screen (one panel per projector) are not coordinated in tints or hues, the dividing lines are seen, and the panels on the edges are often blurry. Obviously, this technique was bound for a rehaul.