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Shown in 1960


gga award
Best Fiction Short: Short Films

Splendidly crafted and photographed, Revenge is a rare reflection of the rich oriental culture of the Soviet Union and a timeless, universal exploration of mankind's highest and lowest ambitions. Conflicting ideals are established in a prologue set in ancient Korea, where the Emperors son trains to be a great warrior as his best friend becomes a poet who disdains violence. The story abruptly shifts to 1915 when a teacher in a small village brutally murders a young girl. The girl’s father vows revenge. When, after ten years of searching, he finds the murderer in China, he is incapable of killing him. On his deathbed, the aged father begs his young son to complete the revenge. Rather than telling a simple, straightforward tale of vengeance, director Shinarbaev presents several interrelated stories about the murderer, the murderer's wife, and the son who comes of age while searching for the killer. The tale unfolds in seven chapters, with the latter episodes gradually becoming more dreamlike and filled with stunning visual imagery.

—Forrest S. Ciesol, Vancouver Film Festival

The message—that revenge is not sweet—is delivered with the complexity and unity of vision of a great 19th-century Russian novel. It takes us along on a roller-coaster ride of moods, alternately poetic, violent, mystical, philosophical, inspiring and profoundly disturbing.

William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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