Ayn Rand's We the Living
Special 2-DVD Set - Bonus Features
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(Sep 11, 2009)
Special 2-DVD Set - Bonus Features
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Beautiful, strong-willed Kira (Alida Valli) is torn between two men (Rossano Brazzi and Fosco Giachetti) while she courageously defies the authoritarian rule of post-revolutionary Russia. Her passionate struggle for the right to her own life burns at the core of WE THE LIVING.
This special 2-DVD set includes over 45 minutes of deleted scenes never before released. Each scene is preceded by a title that explaining why Ayn Rand wanted it removed.
An amazing piece of cinema. I loved every minute of it...Alida Valli has the same kind of quality on-screen as Garbo-just magical-what a performance! I think you will also fall under the spell of this film. --Michael Medved/Sneak Previews
(An) ambitious and ingenious film. --Caryn James/New York Times
Nothing stirs the soul quite so much as buried treasure. WE THE LIVING qualifies in every respect as film treasure...dazzling performances...Director Alessandrini brilliantly blends glamour, romance, politics, intrigue and danger..this is a film that avoids the predictable every step of the way...one of the best movies of the year. --Mike McGrady/New York Newsday
Top customer reviews
I don't agree with everything Ayn Rand says, but this is a much better love story than Atlas Shrugged.
It comes as a 2-disc set, but the whole 4-hour movie is on one disc.
The movie is about the corruption, and the crushing of the individual spirit that occurs in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution. The heroine, Kira, wants no part of communism, but she's a captive in the Soviet Union. She is torn between two men, Andrei, a highly idealistic, decent, principled secret policeman, and Leo, a much less idealistic or principled former aristocrat.
Andrei: "You approve of my ideals, but not my methods.".
Kira: "No, I loathe your ideals.".
The movie is in Italian, with English subtitles. It was made in 1942 by the Mussolini regime, which liked it because it was criticizing communism, but they didn't understand the movie was really criticizing totalitarianism and promoting individualism and freedom.
Needless to say, I love this film and am so pleased that Duncan Scott, the distributor, finally brought it out on DVD with all the scenes that were cut from the original films. My only regret is that anticipated sales of the DVD were obviously such that Mr. Scott wasn't able to invest the money to have the film restored before the DVD release, although the print we see is decent. The only other issue is that if I were Ayn Rand, I would have kept in the film appox. 13 minutes of scenes that were cut, as illustrated below (Please reference the deleted scenes on the DVD):
I would have kept:
#3, Andrei and Kira debate;
#6, Aunt Marussia falls ill segment;
#8, Expulsion from Institute
#9, Nica's death; and
#12, Wedding speach.
Theses scenes offer a power condemnation of Communism/Fascism, a superb denunciation of the toxic Soviet ideology: "You build to destroy others. One day you will destroy yourselves!", whereby only party members have access to health care and education.
I would also have kept:
#5, Mama visits Kira and Leo, which shows how much everyone still relies on Kira who was, nevertheless, rejected by her own family;
#10, Kira and Andrei at a cafe, which ties in with a scene at the beginning of the film where, travelling in the train, Kira hears beautiful music coming from another compartment. There, as in this scene, the music represents the powerful, limitless abilities of man--his ability to rise above the material necessities of food and shelter to dream, to be moved by emotion, to innovate, to create that which is intangible, yet beautiful and inspiring--all that which the communists feel wasteful and unnecessary; and especially
#19, the original ending, which finally shows what happens to the wedding dress that the prior scene focused on. I really don't know how this scene could have been removed for reasons of "artistic integrity" for it exactly matches the ending in the novel.
In any case, those are my quibbles. But overall, I obviously recommend this film very highly and think it richly deserves the five stars.
It is WONDERFUL, INTERESTING, DRAMATIC, with a lot of HISTORY to absorb as well.
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: The only surprise/disappointment was that the movie ends rather abruptly. Kira is shown packing for her escape, with her white dress laid out on her bed and Leo ends their relationship. The movie ends in her bedroom.
I got so involved I actually forgot I was reading subtitles and began to feel as if the dialog was in English! A top flight movie!
Most recent customer reviews
A few things I noticed:
1. The background manipulations of the communist party members.
2. The heroic male was a communist revolution.
gets high marks if the product was good and arrived on time (Or even a few days...Read more