In Earth, Aleksandr Dovzhenko gives a poetic depiction of nature alongside the conflict of agricultural collectivization between peasant Ukrainian farmers and the landowning “kulaks”. The film presents two accounts of this collectivization; the first a portrayal of peasants working the land, sharing their lives with the soil and their harvests; the second an ideological framework underlying the idea of land ownership as told through the Bilokin family saga and the introduction of the tractor into the process of collective work as a type of machine protagonist.
The films visual impact and its poetic depiction of nature overshadows this ideological framework, and although Earth presents an enthusiastic endorsement of collectivization, nature remains the root of life, death and rebirth.
by Aleksandr Dovzhenko
1931, digital projection, 84 min