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The Cranes Are Flying
Dir.: Mikhail Kalatozov | 95 minutes

The Cranes Are Flying

USSR 1957 | 95 minutes | Russian | Hebrew, English subtitles

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 1958, the film opens with the last sunrise on the Soviet Union’s horizon before it enters WWII. Veronika is a young woman whose fiancé, Boris, volunteers for military service. Shifting between battlefront and home front, the film follows Veronika as she waits for a sign of life. Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1957 film was one of the first Soviet films to eschew socialist realism: Veronika does not struggle with national or social duties but rather with her love, loss, hope, and despair. Sergey Urusevskiy’s virtuosic cinematography and Tatyana Samoylova’s touching performance make this film a timeless masterpiece. A digitally-restored print screened this year at Cannes.