The Cranes Are Flying Review

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Two devoted lovers in Moscow are seperated by the Second World War without even saying goodbye. Whilst Boris is away at the front, Veronics is raped by his cousin and marries him but her heart still belongs to Boris.


The term masterpiece has lost much of its currency through overuse, but Mikheil Kalatozov’s film is entirely deserving of the epithet. Winner in 1958 of the Palme d’Or and Best Actress Award (Tatyana Samojlova) at Cannes, the plot follows two young lovers whose destinies are shaped by the outbreak of war.

Like the director’s later, much celebrated, Soy Cuba, Cranes is more akin to cinematic poetry, the sometimes overt symbolism easily forgiven amidst such tender, delicate filmmaking.

Truly classic film-making.