Posle Smerti
1915 / 46m - Russia
After Death poster


December 09, 2020


A very early Russian silent film. I was already familiar with the work of Eisenstein, but hadn't seen any Russian films older than his. That's probably why After Death stunned me a little, I guess I was expecting a more experimental, hectic and/or sullen film, instead Yevgeny Bauer delivers a surprisingly mature drama.

Andrei is somewhat of a recluse who lives together with his aunt. When his pal Tsenin finally gets Andrei to go out with him, he meets Kadmina and the two immediately hit it off. When three months later word reaches Andrei that Kadmina has come to pass, his love turns into obsession.

The most remarkable thing about After Death is how composed and calm it is. There's no rushed editing, no extreme acting and no rattling soundtrack, instead we get a well-constructed drama that build up towards a tragic ending. It's one of the few silents I've seen that actually got me to care about its characters, though sadly Bauer can't quite keep it together during the finale. An interesting discovery nonetheless.