The First Years
Pierwse Lata

1949 / Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland / B&W / 99 min / 35mm

Director: Joris Ivens
Script: Marion Michelle
Camera: Ivan Fric,
Zachari Shandov, Wladislaw Forbert, et. al
Editors: Joris Ivens, Karel Hoeschl
Music: Jan Kapr
Commentary: Karel Hoeschl (Czech version), Catherine Duncan (English version); spoken by Stanley Harrison
Producer: Jaroslav Jilovec
Production company: Statni Film, Prague; Witwornia Filmow, Dokumentalnych, Warsaw; Bulgar Film, Sofia

Originally intended as a four-part film on the new democracies in Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland. Since Tito went in a direction not sanctioned by the Soviet authorities, the section devoted to Yugoslavia was dropped. The First Years is a film on the construction of three socialist states after World War II. In the Bulgarian section, irrigation works are shown to make the people less dependent on the whims of nature. A Czech citizen tells us about Jan Hus and Czech nationalism and the institution of a new social and economic order after the war. In the Polish episode we follow a woman who leaves a devastated Warsaw to build a new existence in the west of Poland by working
in a steel factory. All three episodes breathe the optimism of the socialist promise and sketch the road of transformation from a pre-war capitalist society into a new socialist democracy.



COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee