Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Glasnost Film Festival, No. 10

  • The Trial (Part 2) Adonis XIV
  • Rating: ***
  • Audience: College to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $59.95 Series (public): $575.00
  • Date: Copyright 1988. Released 1990.
  • Descriptors: Soviet Union - Politics and government. Glasnost.
  • Production Information: Live action, Film transfer. Produced by Igor Belyayev (Trial), Bako Sadykov (Adonis). Color, b&w. Russian. Subtitled. 55, 9 min.
  • Available from: The Video Project 5332 College Ave., Ste. 101 Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-9050, (800) 4-PLANET
  • Cataloging: ||Soviet Union - Politics and government - 1917-||Glasnost
  • Print Entry #: 3:1643
  • Reviewer: Carl Moody

    The work that is called with deliberate ambiguity Protsess in Russian (the word can mean either "trial" or simply "process") is an interesting but confusing and incoherent look at the events and outlooks that characterize the current period of glasnost (openness or frankness) in Russia, which was part of the now-defunct Soviet Union when this video was produced. Old black-and-white footage of the revolutionary, World War II, and Stalinist eras are intercut with person-on-Red Square interviews and shots of public meetings from the age of glasnost, evoking the feelings of frustration, disillusionment, and betrayal that are now being recognized as the most lasting legacy of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Even a Russian would be confused by the jumble of images, and the English subtitles are inadequate to acquaint the non-Russian with the people and events being discussed. An audience (college age and older) would need considerable introduction to The Trial by a knowledgeable commentator in order to have a meaningful response to this work.

    Adonis XIV appears on the same tape as The Trial, and it is far more coherent and comprehensible. A black-and-white student film by Bako Sadykov, this work was suppressed for years because its portrayal (without a word of dialogue or commentary) of a goat coopted into leading whole flocks of sheep to slaughter can too readily be interpreted as a symbolic depiction of the Soviet Union. Herds of other animals - cows, pigs (other nations?) - look on as the horror repeats itself monotonously. Not every goat is inclined to play this role. (If you do not know the literal meaning of "bellwether," you should look it up.) Eventually the 14th goat, named Adonis, balks. Observe his fate. This little production from Tajikistan sends shivers. Not for the squeamish.

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