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Film The Taras Family

Russian filmmaker Mark Donskoi, of "The Gorky Trilogy" fame, was responsible for the postwar Soviet drama The Taras Family (originally Nepokorenniye, and also released as Unvanquished and Unconquered). A semi-sequel to Donskoi's Raduga (1944), the story is set in Nazi-occupied Kiev. The drama focusses on the travails of a typical Soviet family and on the efforts by the Germans to force the reopening of a local munitions factory. The film is at its most grimly effective in a long sequence wherein the Nazis conduct a search for Jewish escapees, culminating in a horribly graphic re-creation of the slaughter of the Jews at Babi Yar. While Donskoi was critically lambasted for his cinematic "sloppyiness" during this sequence (hand-held camera, rapid cuts etc.), it can now be seen that he was attempting a realistic, documentarylike interpretation of this infamous Nazi atrocity.


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