USSR, 1959, 89mn 
Colour, fiction
A Girl Looking for Her Father.
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Девочка ищет отца


 La Petite fille cherche son père / La Proie

 Devotchka ishchet otsa

Directed by : Lev GOLUB (Лев ГОЛУБ)
Writing credits : Konstantin GUBAREVICH (Константин ГУБАРЕВИЧ), Yevgeni RYSS (Евгений РЫСС )
Nikolay BARMIN (Николай БАРМИН) ...father Panas
Vladimir DOROFEYEV (Владимир ДОРОФЕЕВ) ...forestier
Yevgeni_2 GRIGORYEV (Евгений_2 ГРИГОРЬЕВ) ...Konstantin Lvovich
Cinematography : Oleg AVDEEV (Олег АВДЕЕВ), Israel PIKMAN (Израиль ПИКМАН)
Production design : Yuri BULYCHEV (Юрий БУЛЫЧЕВ)
Spectators : 35,4 million spectators in the USSR
Release date in Russia : 19/05/1959
Site : IMDb

Plot synopsis
The first Belarusian film of the Thaw period about World War II was geared for a young audience and had a rather conventional plot and a happy ending. It was, however, also well received by adult audiences and not just at home (it was released in eighty-three countries) with its solid dramatic structure, masterful use of adventure film conventions and the skilful direction of young actors, especially the lead actress Anja Kamenkova (who was only five at the time of filming and would become a famous actress).
The plot is based on a tragic episode of Belarusian history during Nazi occupation. The children of the great partisan commander ‘Father Minaj’ (MinajŠmyrëv) were taken hostage and executed by the Nazis. Memory of the recent past is woven into the film’s style: the slow pace of the line of hostages, the expressive rendering of varied humanity (one of the cinematographers, Izrail’ Pikman, started out as a war cameraman), the lavish colors of the forest in autumn punctuated by the black shapes of the enemy (war films of the 1950s and 60s were shot in a black-and-white documentary style, but Devočka iščet otca was filmed in color being categorized as a film for kids and genre movie). Nature is an enchanting background but also a character in its own right: it hides the hunted and drives back the occupying forces. The forest is where the partisans are at home and are invulnerable. Dovzhenko’s influence was visible in Lev Golub’s films of the early 1930s and here it is rich and powerful. It is not surprising that the film received so many awards at home and abroad (including for best children’s film in Kiev and Anna Kamenkova as best actress in Mar del Plata).

Evgenij Margolit

Selected in the following festivals :
- 'Il Cinema Ritrovato' Festival, Bologna (Italy), 2016