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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  Others 
Titles and names in bold print contain more complete information
Sergey VASILIEV
Сергей ВАСИЛЬЕВ
Sergueï VASSILIEV
Georgi VASILYEV
Георгий ВАСИЛЬЕВ
Gueorgui VASSILIEV
 
USSR, 1928  
Black and white, silent, documentary

Feat in the Ice

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

Подвиг во льдах

 

 Exploit dans les glaces

 Podvig vo ldakh


 
Directed by : Sergey VASILIEV (Сергей ВАСИЛЬЕВ), Georgi VASILYEV (Георгий ВАСИЛЬЕВ)
Production : Lensovkino
 

Plot synopsis
No English plot synopsis available !
 

Film tourné à partir des rushes pris par les opérateurs de Sovkino V. Bluvstein et Valenteï au cours des expéditions héroïques du Krassine et Malygine à la recherche de l'équipage de l'Italia.

Фильм создан из материалов, снятых операторами СОВКИНО В.Блувштейном на "Красине" и Валентеем на "Малыгине" о героическом походе "Красина" и "Малыгина" на поиски экипажа "Италия".
 

Commentaries and bibliography
 
The industrialization campaign in the Soviet Union brought growing attention to the Arctic as a new frontier of symbolic spatial politics. In 1928, international media attention was drawn to the efforts to save Umberto Nobile, a famous Italian airship designer, and his team following the catastrophe on the expedition to the North Pole of the airship Italia. Nobile’s expedition started off from Milan in April 1928; on May 23, the airship left Spitsbergen and headed towards the North Pole. Two days later the Italia crashed; several survivors, including Nobile, set up a red-coloured tent off Foyn Island, in the northeast (the least accessible region of Svalbard), and sent out SOS signals. Several countries participated in the rescue mission. The Soviet Union dispatched several ships, three of them with cameramen on board. The rescue operation became the subject of Georgii and Sergei Vasiliev’s compilation film, Feat in the Ice. Cameraman Evgenii Bogorov worked on board the research vessel Persei, Ignatii Vallentei filmed on the icebreaker Malygin, and Wilhelm Bluvshtein, who also served as the directors’ assistant on the production of the film, was dispatched to the icebreaker Krasin, which ultimately played the central role in the rescue mission. Feat in the Ice combines footage by various cameramen, and interweaves several expeditions into a single heroic narrative.
The film opens with footage of Georgii Sedov’s 1912 expedition, which, despite its tragic end, is referenced as an early predecessor of Soviet polar exploration. This is followed by a brief mention of Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile’s 1926 flight to the North Pole on the airship Norge. Amundsen is greeted by crowds upon arriving in the USSR; an animated map traces the expedition’s itinerary. The rest of Feat in the Ice focuses on the 1928 rescue mission. The tripartite structure of the first part of the film reminds us of a folktale with three heroes: the Persei starts off from Murmansk and gets caught in the ice shortly upon its departure; the Malygin departs from Arkhangelsk and also becomes stranded in the ice, yet continues its search mission with an airplane operated by pilot Mikhail Babushkin. Finally, the Krasin becomes the main hero of the story: it takes off from “the city of Lenin” and, as if guided by the “directing” gesture of Lenin’s monument, cuts across the desert of ice. While its advance is slowed down by propeller blade damage, the icebreaker sends out a Junkers aircraft operated by Boris Chukhnovsky, which identifies several men on the ice but is itself forced down onto an ice floe by thick fog. Flying together with Chukhnovsky, Bluvshtein records the experience of the crew, a polar bear hunt, a “festive” meal, and spectacular icy panoramas as a backdrop.
The film repeatedly emphasizes the pioneering achievements of the Krasin, which set a record for advancing the farthest north in the Svalbard region. The final reel highlights international media interest in the event – printing presses, radio stations, telegraphs, and crowds of newspaper boys not only circulate reports about the rescue, but also propagate a proud Soviet narrative of pioneering exploits in the Arctic. The survivors who appear on record are radio operator Giuseppe Biagi, technician Natale Cecioni, navigator Alfredo Viglieri, and of course expedition leader Umberto Nobile, among others. Swedish pilot Einar Lundborg, who picked up Nobile from the ice floe but crashed his plane on the return for more survivors, also appears in the film. The Krasin’s rescue mission was unexpectedly extended, as in late July it also offered assistance to the German passenger liner Monte Cervantes with 1,800 passengers on board, when it collided with an iceberg on its journey from Norway’s North Cape to the Svalbard archipelago.
In the final episodes, the Krasin arrives at Stavanger in Norway, where Soviet Ambassador Alexandra Kollontai, an organized group of Norwegian workers, foreign correspondents, and a group of youth identified as “Norwegian pioneers” visit the ship. The closing scenes show the Krasin carrying on the Soviet mission of mastering the Arctic regions. Feat in the Ice remains an important document of transnational solidarity, the strengthening rhetoric of ideological competition in the Arctic, and the cameramen’s dedicated work in harsh polar conditions.
Oksana Sarkisova
http://www.giornatedelcinemamuto.it/en/podvig-vo-ldakh/

Selected in the following festivals :
- Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Pordenone (Italy), 2017


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