(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

THE VILLAGE DETECTIVE--A SONG CYCLE is a documentary about several reels of a 1969 film (THE VILLAGE DETECTIVE ["Derevenskiy detektiv"]) from the Soviet Union that were pulled up in 2016 in an Icelandic fishing trawler's net (so yet another film this year with underwater photography!). The film introduces itself with a song sung/recited by someone who looks to be a Russian peasant in militaristic uniform--the "village detective" of the movie. The movie starred Mikhail Ivanovich Zharov, and the documentary is apparently called a song cycle because many of the films shown have Zharov singing. The documentary is more a history of Soviet film and Zharov's career as a terrifically popular Soviet film star than about the ocean find, but it does begin with an explanation of how the film was preserved underwater for many decades. Unfortunately, there are too many extended shots of damaged film with no sound or explanation. For those interested in popular Soviet film, it is probably worth seeing, but it is not of general interest. (On the plus side, the subtitling is quite legible, avoiding the "white-on-white" problem.)

Released theatrically and on Apple TV+ 09/22/21. Rating: 0 (-4 to +4), or 4/10.

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					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2021 Mark R. Leeper