Synopsis by Kristie Hassen
A few years after director Akira Kurosawa released the Japanese version (Throne of Blood) of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, Andrzej Wajda, for his first project outside of Poland, directed Siberska Ledi Magbet/Siberian Lady Macbeth. This particular version-of-two-versions was based on the 1865 novel Ledi Makbet Mtsenkogo Uyezda/Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nicolai Leskov and Dmitri Shostakovich's 1934 opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (also based on Leskov's work). Using the composer's music for the background, this tale is set in Yugoslavia during Czarist Russia. Left at home with her father-in-law when her husband is away on a prolonged trip, Katerina takes up with peasant workman Sergei. Her father-in-law discovers the affair and Katerina, with the help of her lover, poisons him. When her husband finally returns home, Katerina has fatal plans for him as well. As usual, Wajda aims for symbolic reflection; in this instance, the themes are of retribution and exile. It may be interesting to note that when Shostakovich wrote his opera, it was suppressed in the Soviet Union until one year before the release of this film, revived under the title, Katerina Izmaylova.
woman, betrayal, husband, extramarital-affair, peasant, poison, Russia, father-in-law, killing, murder