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(Review originally written at 30 December 2009)

Those Soviets surely were not holding back spending their rubles on large scale productions at the time. This over 6 hour long epic production is not just epic in its running time. It's an epic movie in basically all of its sequences and the movie gets filled with some impressive battle sequences as well. The Soviets were basically the pioneers in how large scale battles and battle sequences in general got brought to the screen. Another and even better example (and longer) of this is the even larger 1967 Soviet movie production of war and peace; "Voyna i mir".

The way I see this movie it's basically a tribute to the Cossacks. They get presented as a proud, noble and hard working community of farmers, who fight and give their lives for mother Russia in its most dyer times. The backbone of Russia so to speak. Hyme to the Cossacks could had been a title for this time.

Appearantly there also is a short version of this all somewhere available for the international market, which is a good thing. Although the story is always great, 6 hours is of course a long time to watch anything. I can also imaging an 2 hour movie telling exactly the same story and just as good. The movie perhaps repeat itself too often and all that at times seems to be happening are a bunch of characters sitting around either eating, drinking or being depressed.

But no, it's not like the movie ever turns into a weak one. It's far too well done for that, even when the movie is turning slow. Its story and characters always make sure that you'll stay interested throughout.

A real large scale cinematic accomplishment about love and war, in the early 20th century southern Russia countryside.

10/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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