"You will hear thunder and remember me, and think: she wanted storms..." -- Anna Akhmatova
Fate granted Anna Akhmatova immense poetic talent, beauty, fame and a brilliant generation. Then came the executions of her loved ones, hunger, wars, revolutions, Soviet terror, isolation, betrayal. Yet Akhmatova emerges victorious, armed with mere words of poetry that-too dangerous to commit to paper-had to be memorized to be preserved.
"Each of our lives is a Shakespearean drama raised to the thousandth degree." -- Anna Akhmatova
This film follows this story reminiscent of an antique tragedy. Its participants, aside from the heroine, include Apollo and the muses, Dido and Aeneas from her beloved record of Purcell, Amedeo Modigliani, witches and visitors, statues and sovereigns, portraits and artists, armies and gardens, Paris and Leningrad, the storyteller and eternal chorus of milling crowds.
"One of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon...universalized, ingeniously structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935-40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror...addresses a variety of themes including time and memory, the fate of creative women, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism. She has been widely translated into many languages and is one of the best-known Russian poets of 20th century." - Good Reads
"The most famous Russian poet of her time...Akhmatova was iconic not just for what she had done, but for the majesty of what she had not been allowed to do." - Clive James, Slate.com
"Exquisite love lyrics... The theme of concealment highlights one of the most salient aspects of the later poetry--its saturation with allusions and quotations drawn from Russian and Western European literature. In contrast to the relatively unified image of the lyrical persona in the early verse, the poet's self-representation in the later poetry features a multiplicity of masks and guises. Throughout, the author traces the genesis and transfigurations of these images of self. " - Stanford University Press
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