Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Destiny of Man 1959

Movie for the Evening: Feature

“Destiny of Man” Russian

“Sudba Cheloveka” (original title)

1959

A sweeping view of the collateral damage of war, “Destiny of Man” follows a man, Sokolov (played by Sergey Bondarchuk) as he experiences the personal tragedies and challenges to survive as a soldier during the German invasion of Russia after June, 1941.

For the viewer in the 21st century, this is well worn ground but the sensitivity brought to the film by director Sergey Bondarchuk and attention brought by the first person perspective gives this presentation a sustaining power.

The death camp scenes were particularly chilling by “normalizing” the moment of arrival, soothing music and casual exit from the train, by the soon to be victims of the death camp (the statistic of millions) dressed in street clothes. As they form a line to the ovens, a child is pulled from their distressed mothers protective embrace.

“Destiny of Man” is a B&W testament to the strength of will needed to survive.

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