“Movie for the Evening”: Feature
“Letter Never Sent” by Mikhail Kalatozov
I must state at the beginning of this review of “Letter Never Sent”, I love Mikhail Kalatozov work. A cut above the crowd of directors, he has often brought together the three elements in my opinion that make for great cinema: a compelling story, a love of cinematography, and excellence in editing.
“Letter Never Sent” acts out the travail of four geologists on an expedition to find diamonds in the Siberian wilderness. These diamonds will not be cut to adorn the fingers of the wealthy, they will be used to further the industrial success of the Fatherland.
The expedition finds a diamond vein but success’s jubilation is short and followed by the greater challenge of survival. Scene after scene, filmed in black and white and with a critical eye for composition, shows the struggle of man against nature.
“Letter Never Sent” is an important film and a fitting addition to the director’s admirable body of work.