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.

: ABC Clio VRGL

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. 5

  • Scenes at a Fountain The Limit
  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $59.95 Series (public): $575.00
  • Date: Copyright 1986. Released 1990.
  • Descriptors: Alcoholism. Soviet Union - Social conditions. Fires. Disasters.
  • Production Information: Live action, Film transfer. Produced by Igor Gonopolsky (Scenes), Tatyana Skabard (Limit). Color. Russian. Subtitled. 28, 15 min.
  • Available from: The Video Project 5332 College Ave., Ste. 101 Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-9050, (800) 4-PLANET
  • Cataloging: ||Gas wells - Soviet Union - Blowouts|| Alcoholism - Soviet Union
  • Print Entry #: 1:1932
  • Reviewer: Susanne Woodford

    These two films are part of the Glasnost Film Festival series. Scenes at a Fountain dramatically captures the results of a natural gas disaster in Russia in 1985; The Limit frankly examines how alcoholism affects Soviet society. Both documentaries have been recorded in the Russian language, with English subtitles. Each presents personal struggles, successes, and failures of individuals, in an attempt to illuminate the larger problems. Adults and high school or college students of Soviet studies would find this video worthwhile; the programs are powerfully presented and emotionally charged.

    Scenes at a Fountain begins with shots of a gas fire gusher erupting on the shores of the Caspian Sea. These scenes are followed by the introduction of the members of a fire rescue team. A round-table discussion provides the framework as the footage of events following the disaster and the subsequent discussion are interwoven to recreate the experience. Tribute is paid to the one Soviet fireman who lost his life in the blaze.

    The Limit conveys a strong message about alcoholism and its effect on Soviet society. This universal problem, which plagues many countries, is intensely examined via interviews, discussions with victims, and a look at mental patients, the abuse of children, and women in prisons. The Limit decisively "tells all" in unflattering terms. The consequences of alcoholism deeply affect the lives of the Soviet people.

    Technically, the film transfer reflects good color; subtitles are easy to read, and audio quality is good. The background music, especially for The Limit, is in a minor key and consists of passages quite disturbing to the ear. Perhaps this is intended to create an aura of uneasiness. In the case of The Limit, it is sometimes difficult to identify what is being viewed and why.

    Both Scenes at a Fountain and The Limit capture the essence of some distinctively personal accounts of struggle. Public libraries will find this series an excellent addition to their collections.

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