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Siberian Lady Macbeth

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shakespearean tragedy collides with film noir in a remote Russian village in this dark fable from celebrated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (Danton, Ashes and Diamonds). Siberian Lady Macbeth observes the cruel machinations of Katarina, a ruthless woman (Olivera Markovic) who will let nothing threaten her affair with a mysterious drifter (Ljuba Tadic). When her father-in-law (Bojan Stupica) discovers her indiscretion, she dispatches him with a dose of rat poison. But soon others, including her husband, sister-in-law, and young nephew develop suspicions of their own... and test the limits to which Katarina's lethal passion will carry her. The film's barbaric setting (photographed in beautiful black-and-white by Aleksandar Sekulovic) emphasizes the primordial desires that propel its heroine toward destruction, while Wajda's carefully composed images (backed by a score drawn from the works of Shastakovich) endow the film with a visual impact and formal grace that make Siberian Lady Macbeth an unsung classic of Eastern European Cinema.

From the Back Cover

Shakespearean tragedy collides with film noir in a remote Russian village in this dark fable from celebrated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (Danton, Ashes and Diamonds). Siberian Lady Macbeth observes the cruel machinations of Katarina, a ruthless woman (Olivera Markovic) who will let nothing threaten her affair with a mysterious drifter (Ljuba Tadic). When her father-in-saw (Bojan Stupica) discovers the indiscretion, she dispatches him with a dose of rat poison. But soon others, including her husband, sister-in-law and young nephew, develop suspicions of their own…and test the limits to which Katarina’s lethal passion will carry her.
The film’s barbaric black-and-white by Aleksander Sekulovic) emphasizes the primordial desires that propel its heroine toward destruction, while Wajda’s carefully composed images (backed by a score drawn from the works of Shostakovich) endow the film with a visual impact and formal grace that make Siberian Lady Macbeth an unsung classic of Eastern European Cinema.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Olivera Markovic, Ljuba Tadic, Kapitalina Eric, Bojan Stupica, Miodrag Lazarevic
  • Directors: Andrzej Wajda
  • Writers: Nikolai Leskov, Sveta Lukic, William Shakespeare
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: June 18, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000067IYF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,417 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Siberian Lady Macbeth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela HALL OF FAME on November 10, 2004
Format: DVD
Andrezj Wajda was in an efervescent state of mind and besides he was in the peak of his artistic powers when he decided to adapt this Shakespeare classic . Only several years before the director Akira Kurosawa had released the Japanese version (Throne of Blood) of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, Andrzej Wajda, for his first project outside of Poland, directed Siberska Ledi Magbet/Siberian Lady Macbeth.

This particular version of four hands versions was based on the 1865 novel Ledi Makbet Mtsenkogo Uyezda/Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nicolai Leskov and Dmitri Shostakovich's 1934 opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (also based on Leskov's work).

Wajda once more shows his enormous genius employing clever metaphors to illustrate more than a simple coincidence ; the presented dramatis personae with the opressiveand struggling situation in his beloved Poland .

Beware the Hungary invasion was very fresh in the mind of the world and the iron circle after Stalin death became in a sinister and invisible cloud surrounding all the possible stages . The music , litherature , painting suffered a crude isolating state .

Fortunately , the sixties signified a real breakthrough with the ancients state of things all around the world and this fact affected too the world behind the iron curtain . Poland was always le enfant terrible for the rest of the satellite countries of USSR.

Using the composer's music for the background, this crude tale was set in Yugoslavia during Czarist Russia. As you see Wajda avoids to establish a direct similarity with the real world . Left at home with her father in law when her husband is away on a prolonged trip, Katerina takes up with peasant workman Sergei. You will suposse what's going on .
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Black and White in more ways than the type of film used - contrasting emotions proceeding from tradition, lust, selfishness, betrayal, punishment, and revenge. Goodness and loyalty have a subdued role in this play, the story of opportunity taken and morality abandoned.
It is beautifully filmed, although, as pointed out, the night scenes are dark - what you might expect in a rural setting. If I have one caveat, it is the nutty use of the wind machine to blow dust about from time to time. The effect is to depict isolation (loneliness, despair - I get it) of the region and the misery of various characters; just my personal opinion.
The story is classic, the acting is excellent, direction spot on, costumes and settings superb. And the spoken language a delight if one understands a few words, laku noć (a catchphrase in my family) pleasant to hear. It means, 'good night.'
The opera, 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.' by Shostokovitch, from the book by Leskov, is growing in popularity with each rendition (The MET to stage six November, 2014 performances). This film, contrasted with operatic staging, has no nudity - and needs none. Sex is abundant though, with the consequences of stolen passion leading to hideous crimes and a tragic ending of double-cross and scorn.
Czarist Russia, with serfdom intact, is Katerina Ismailova's prison. For some brief time, with murder the key, she escapes - only to be brought to justice with her lover. The finality, of course, has another Russian twist.
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Format: DVD
Siberian Lady MacBeth is loosely based on Shakespeare's play, but much more so on a novella by Nikolai Leskov called Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. Although I may be stating the obvious, the story is set in Russia. The lady of this macrebe tale is ambitious, but in a murderous way. I can also confirm your suspicions that this movie is going to be dark. However, being shot in black and white brings out the beauty of the wooden buildings where most of the story takes place. Being both well shot and visually appealing brings out the beauty in this otherwise sad story.

The troubles begin when the lady of the house, Katerina (Olivera Markovic), is left for too long with her father-in-law while her husband is away. And things get pushed over the edge when a peasant named Sergei starts to work for the family. Katerina and Sergei both take a liking to each other; furthermore, they both see they can gain something from each other. Katerina wants to leave the life she finds so dull and Sergei sees Katerina as a way to a better life. Instead of being a farm hand tending to the pigs, Sergei could be the one in charge of the whole farm. Siberian Lady MacBeth has drama in the theatrical sense that keeps the suspense tight as we anticipate who will be murdered next.

Although Andrzej Wajda is best know for directing Polish films, he has also made films in other languages. Siberian Lady MacBeth is his first work in something other than Polish. Siberian Lady MacBeth is a Yugoslavian film and is spoken in Serbo-Croatian. For me it was interesting to see that a number of Serbo-Croatian words are similar to Polish. Siberian Lady MacBeth has an Eastern European side to it that is unmistakable and beautiful.
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