T. it.: La canzone della terra siberiana. T. int.: Tales of the Siberian Land. Sog.: Ivan Pyr’ev. Scen.: Evgenij Pomešcˇikov, Nikolaj Rožkov. F.: Valentin Pavlov. Mo.: Anna Kulganek. Scgf.: Artur Berger, Boris Cebotarev. Mu.: Nikolaj Krjukov (testi della canzoni di Evgenij Dolmatovskij). Su.: Valerij Popov. Int.: Vladimir Družnikov (Andrej Balašov), Marina Ladynina (Nataša Malinina), Boris Andreev (Jakov Burmak), Vera Vasil’eva (Nastenka Gusenkova), Sergej Kalinin (Komei Zavorin), Elena Savickaja (Kapitolina Kondrat‘jeva), Vladimir Zel’din (Boris Olenicˇ), Michail Sidorkin (Sergej Tomakurov), Grigorij Špigel’ (Grigorij Gelajda), Vladimir Ural’skij (Nosov). Prod.: Mosfil’m. Pri. pro.: 16 febbraio 1948 35mm. D.: 103’.
Vas’ja (of Six O’Clock in the Evening After the War) only lost his leg. Andrej, here, has lost his soul, or so he believes. Once he was a composer. During the war, he was wounded and lost his passion for music. Now he works in a paper mill. Andrej encounters a singer he once loved. When they fail to reconnect, he heads for the farther reaches of Siberia to become again the man this woman loved – resulting in a new opus, a symphony about the conquest of Siberia. Tales of the Siberian Land is a veritable Late Stalinist High Mass manqué: a work about the nation’s postwar regeneration that tries to be jubilant, but doesn’t really know how to. There’s a subdued tenderness to the film, a skeptical hopefulness, as well as a wishful blindness… Pyr’ev obviously relishes the opportunity to work in color: marvel at the shimmering whites, the twinkling blues, the magnificence of all those hues that make the woods shine. What sublime beauty, however garish it might feel at certain moments. For all its splendor, Skazanie o zemle sibirskoj remains a slightly overlooked work, probably because it doesn’t snugly fit into the musical comedy mold. Actually it’s a melodrama, which was to become his genre of choice after the war.