Directed by Uldis Brauns , documentary, 108 min, eng subtitles, 12+
Written by Herz Frank
Released under the title 235 000 000 Faces, this remarkable film came out in 1967, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution and the founding of the Soviet Union. The number 235 million refers to the 1966 population of the USSR, then the largest country in the world. Through evocative vignettes depicting human life - from the first steps of a baby, the joyful faces of men and women getting married, children sliding on the sand, the arresting "helicopter dance", to events significant for the entire state - men joining the army, launching of a spaceship and the party congress, the film presents us with an ambitious collective portrait, very much inspired by Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man and Dziga Vertov’s poetics, which has not yet been surpassed in its scale in cinema. Four film crews following the script and a “Field Manual” prepared by Brauns and Frank, the Masters of the Rīga School of Poetic Documentary cinema, went on expeditions throughout the Soviet Union over a one-year period and performed a singular cinematographic feat in catching the zeitgeist of the Soviet 1960s. The result: a documentary poem showing the everyday poetry of human life.