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Khlebnyy den (1998) Online

Khlebnyy den (1998) Online
Original Title :
Khlebnyy den
Genre :
Movie / Documentary
Year :
Directror :
Sergei Dvortsevoy
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Khlebnyy den (1998) Online

The story of old people living in a forgotten village. Once a week they need to push the carriage with bread for several kilometers towards their gloomy settlement.

User reviews



Well, I just want to comment the one that wrote that dumb last question. How long do you think the old people have been pushing that wagon? What do you think it's more important?: to help them, for a few minutes, maybe an our, an only for one day (the day(s) the director went there), or to film it, and show the conditions that those people had to live with?. I think, that the filmmaker's duty it's very clear. Don't miss the point, the help that Dvorstevoi provided those people was probably much bigger and complex than help them pushing a wagon. After I saw this film, I understood where cinema have to go nowadays, and no just for the theme, the form, extremely long takes, almost (and sometimes) a whole reel, avoiding the over saturation of cutting and shots, adopted in commercial cinema, video clips and -supposed to be- art and essay films. That's what I think.


Sergei Dvortsevoy's technique of leaving a sometimes apparently unattended camera running is most effective in the shop scenes where the villagers enact a darkly comic ritual of banter and barter.

There is a rich vein of comedy and tragedy running through the film that is characteristically Russian. Even the lingering shots of the goats munching are charged with a sense of absurd philosophy. They set the scene for the pace of life in the village and the importance of the bread, it's all they have to do, just like the goats, eat and pass the time of day with one another, just as the goats do when one unexpectedly rears up to greet another through an open window.

The piece is punctuated with moments like that and it is a moving portrait of a dying way of life in a stunningly beautiful but decrepit setting.


A throwback to the methods and assumptions of Robert Flaherty, 'Bread Day' is a documentary recording a day in the life of an isolated snow-crowned former Soviet settlement, now sparsely populated by testy old people and some mangy animals. The title refers to the day when a supply of bread is sent to the settlement - the old folk must push the carriage themselves for the final miles of the journey. There are very few scenes in the film, the rigid camera focusing relentlessly on the tableau in hand, be it a vicious row in the bakery, or the methodical munching of a goat. We are supposed to pretend the camera isn't there, but drunks and animals keep drawing attention to it. This contrived 'unmediated' style is supposed to give us a genuine taste of the life of a community abandoned by the powers that be - all I could think was, why doesn't the cameraman help the old people push the carriage?