Beginning of an Unknown Century (1967), Larisa Shepitko and Andrei Smirnov

Beginning of an Unknown Century (1967), Larisa Shepitko and Andrei Smirnov

Beginning of an Unknown Century, a two-part omnibus film, was commissioned to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution. Deemed too pessimistic by Brezhnev’s censors, the film was immediately shelved, and only shown for the first time twenty years later in 1987. Andrei Smirnov’s episode Angel is a story of everyday heroism and brutality during the Civil War years of the 1920s. It follows a group of refugees fleeing the conflict, whose train is derailed and captured by bandits. In Larisa Shepitko’s Homeland of Electricity a young mechanic is sent to a famine-stricken village in order to bring electricity to the people. The striking black-and-white visuals of this film are frequently compared to the works of Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Shepitko’s master. Homeland of Electricity is one of only three surviving films of one of Russia’s most masterful female film directors. 

To book tickets for the screening of Beginning of an Unknown Century at Regent Street Cinema, please follow the link below. 

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